30 oil companies, Niger Delta States, Labour mount opposition to PIB –

 

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…want retention of businesses, rights for existing Joint Venture licenses, leases and production sharing contracts

 

By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja

 

Oil Producing Trade Section (OPTS), comprising 30 indigenous and international members operating about 90% of the total oil and gas production in Nigeria yesterday saihd the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB would stifle their businesses and the growth of the Petroleum sector.

 

The Chairman of OPTS, Mike Sangster who spoke on behalf of the group at the beginning of the two day public hearing on the PIB organized by the ad-hoc Commitee of the House of Representatives said that some aspects of the bill were inimical to future investments.

Titled “A Bill for an act to provide legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host community and for related matters”, the proposed piece of legislation is chiefly  seeking to scrap the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and replace them with a new agency to be called Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority (NMDRA) which shall be responsible for the technical and commercial regulation of midstream and upstream petroleum operations in the industry.

 

It is also seeking to establis the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission to be responsible for the technical and commercial regulation of upstream petroleum operations, while also seeking the commercialisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to become Nigerian National Petroleum Company to be incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act by the Minister of petroleum.

 

Making his presentation at the hearing yesterday, Sangster feared that Deepwater developments would not provide a favourable environment for future investments and for the launching of new projects.

 

He said that the PIB should grant Deepwater oil projects a full royalty relief during…

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