The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has pledged to end energy poverty and achieve carbon neutrality for economic growth.
This was disclosed by the NUPRC Commission Chief Executive (CCE), Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, during an interview with energy editors at the ongoing Oil Technology Conference which entered its day two in Houston, Texas with the theme ‘‘Energy Transition and AfCFTA: Key Reforms for Sustainable Development of the African Oil and Gas Industry”.
He said that the conversation around energy transition is gathering high momentum in the country and the federal government is doing all it can to fine-tune its policies and regulation to ensure it meets global carbon neutrality.
According to him, “Nigeria has outlined its energy transition plan and for us as a regulatory commission, we are in line with every plan to ensure a smooth transition. Right now, the commission has created a department to handle its decarbonization process. This is a way to ensure it gets carbon credit and follow all global best practices and benchmark,’’.
Komolafe affirmed that the process of the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) is progressing well and very soon the commission will announce the names of the successful bidders.
He noted that this is coming at a time of energy crisis and transition and on the backdrop of the government’s decade of gas policy, the development seeks to tame decades of gas flaring in the oil-producing region and enable the federation to generate billions of dollars in investment and signature bonuses.
“In recognition of the funding challenges facing some of the awardees of the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Round licences, the Commission is also planning a production based lending engagement that will help them source needed capital to commence full field development towards hitting first oil,” he noted.
He expressed that this is an initiative of the commission to ease challenges in the sector, stressing that the engagement which is planned to commence soon will be between the Commission, Petroleum Production Licence (PPL) Awardees, Exploration and Production (E&P) service providers, and Banks.
“It is to provide platforms for strategic partnership/alliance between the awardees and the service providers for good re-entry and drilling services. The arrangement is to be offered on service fee recoverable by the service providers from production to be attached.”
Also, he said the Commission has developed a Corporate Governance Framework for upstream petroleum operations. This, he said, is to create clarity and restore confidence in the industry which is very important. He added that the framework is to enhance sustainability, environmental, and corporate governance requirements and to facilitate capital attraction by investors for the optimal and efficient development of the PPLs and other assets.
In his remarks, he commended the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) leadership for leading a quality delegation to the 2023 OTC Conference and urged them to sustain the tempo and continue the development of indigenous capabilities in the oil and gas sector.