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How Nigeria Can Reverse Prolonged Production Shut-ins With PIBs Passage

Mr. Osten Olorunsola, a former Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Tuesday, disclosed that crude oil fields in the country record as high as 160 days production shut-in due to operational challenges.

This he said is against the global best practice of around 30 to 45 days recorded in other countries, owing largely to scheduled maintenance shut-downs.

Olurunsola who said this while speaking in Abuja, at a roundtable meeting on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) organised by the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) and Media Initiative on Transparency in Extractive Industries (MITEI), said the situation can very well be reversed with the passage of the various segments of the Petroleum Industry Bills (PIBs)

The NNRC has been championing advocacy for assent to the already passed Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) as well passage of the remaining segments of the PIB namely the Petroleum Host and Impacted Community Bill (PHICB), Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill (PIFB) and Petroleum Industry Administration Bill (PIAB).

Olorunsola, a member of the NNRC Expert Advisory Panel, while speaking on the topic, PIB: Global prospects for the Nigerian economy, explained that while other countries produce oil form their fields for about 330 days in a year, challenges such as pipeline vandalism massively limit Nigeria’s production and rob the country of much needed resources.

He said “In terms of real operational shutdowns, we are seeing something between 80 and 160 days, which is not good.”

He further disclosed that in 2018 alone, some trunklines had been shutdown for up to 84 days already.

He stressed that Nigeria needs to make haste and pass the PIBs as the global energy market landscape is fast changing with previous buyers now becoming sellers, unconventional becoming conventional and importers now becoming net exporters.

When passed, he said, the PIBs will address issues at the root of these challenges and make Nigeria’s operating environment competitively attractive.

Also speaking at the event, a former minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Odein Ajumogobia, urged the National Assembly to ensure passage of the bill before the end of the 8th Assembly.

“We might lose another opportunity if the bill is not passed by the end of this year because National Assembly members will become focused on re-election. If the bill is not passed in 2018, it’s going to go to another Assembly and a new process will begin altogether. We can’t afford that, the bill has been on for 18 years now,” Ajumogobia said.

Assuring that the bill will be passed before year end, a member of the PIB ad hoc committee, Henry Nwawuba, said the 8th Assembly wants to be remembered as the Assembly that passed the PIB.

He said members were in Enugu last week working on the remaining three bills, adding “If we had the kind of legislative will we have now, I don’t see why Nigeria couldn’t get it done in 18years.”

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