More IOCs Will Leave Nigeria—NUPRC

October 19, 2022

By Adedapo Adesanya 

The Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has warned that more international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria are going to divest from onshore oil and gas assets.

It also pointed out that this would lead to job losses in the oil sector but called on indigenous oil companies to take advantage of this to recruit professionals and grow in-country capacity.

Speaking at the Energy and Labour Summit of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSEN) in Abuja on Tuesday, the chief executive of NUPRC, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, stated that this is due to poor earnings caused by the massive crude oil theft across the country.

“Fundamentally, it is important to note that within the next few years, most IOCs shall divest from onshore oil and gas assets due to poor return on investment as a result of crude oil theft, and this may pose a threat to job security.

“We are very aware that energy transition may threaten job security and stifle investment in the Nigerian oil and gas industry,” he said.

The NUPRC boss added, “However, I align fully with the policy of the government, which is hinged on ensuring that we utilise our huge gas resources as a transition fuel towards cleaner energy sources.”

He noted that the government must utilise its hydrocarbon resource for industrialisation and economic growth.

Mr Komolafe also called for improved investment into natural gas development, adding that innovative ways of financing would have to be found for gas projects.

“The Natural Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), National Policy on Decade of Gas which is hinged on the Natural Gas Expansion Programme, NGEP, Natural Gas Flare Elimination and Monetisation Plan in line with Section 110 of the PIA, 2021, Guideline for Management of Fugitive Methane and Greenhouse Gases Emissions in the Upstream Oil and Gas Operations in Nigeria and the inclusion of Gas Infrastructure Fund in the PIA are robust regulatory enablers to facilitate these energy resilience approaches that will make our hydrocarbon projects low carbon emitters and more attractive to investors.

“We must begin to develop local innovative financing solutions to develop our huge gas resources as the number of international traditional investors has dropped drastically.

“To this end, the Africa Export-Import bank (Afreximbank) and Africa Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) have decided to set up an Africa Energy Bank to provide capital for oil and gas projects in Africa,” he added.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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