Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, CEO of NUPRC
…OPTS calls for reduction in contracting circle
The Chief Executive Officer of the newly-created Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, Wednesday met with the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), to solicit their support for the smooth implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Speaking during the maiden meeting with the top oil producers comprising 29 major players in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector in Lagos, Komolafe noted that the OPTS remained a critical stakeholder and partner in the development and operations of upstream assets in the industry.
Some of those present at the meeting were: The Chairman, OPTS and Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria, Mr Rick Kennedy; Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor and Managing Director, TotalEnergies Nigeria, Mr. Mike Sangster.
Others included the Managing Director, ExxonMobil Nigeria Limited, Mr. Richard Laing and Managing Director, ENI Companies in Nigeria, Mr Roberto Daniele.
At the event, Komolafe recalled that the NUPRC was established following the signing of the PIA by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 16 and was aimed at optimising the sector’s contribution to national development.
“The implementation of the PIA is very germane to the president and this current administration and he has given us a period of six to 12 months to begin to deliver some of the key deliverables.
“It is against this backdrop that I have decided to host this meeting in Lagos to reinforce my acknowledgment of your association and to solicit your collaboration as industry stakeholders,” Komolafe said.
He noted that the meeting was coming at a critical time when the clamour from the global community was focused on energy transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy, which has resulted in funding challenges for exploration activities by the oil companies.
He said the meeting was to familiarise the commission with the OPTS members and listen to the challenges hindering optimisation of key areas in the upstream sector.
“Permit me also to say that this is the first in the series of engagements with you as our vision is to build a 21st century regulator that will be fair, just and be a critical business enabler in the upstream petroleum sector.
“It is in this wise that we urge you all to join hands with us in building confidence in the industry for robust investment,” Komolafe said.
Earlier, Kennedy while congratulating Komolafe on his appointment, assured him of the support and cooperation of the OPTS in achieving the mandate of the commission, adding that the establishment of the commission forms a major milestone in the reforms being made in the Nigeria’s petroleum sector.
While stressing that the passage of the PIA remains a milestone, he, however, noted that the OPTS would need collaboration with the commission regarding some of the key timelines in the implementation of the PIA.
Kennedy said the areas included incorporation of the development trusts for host communities, installation of flare meters as well as in the area of gas flare monetisation plan.
The Chevron Nigeria chief executive listed some of the challenges faced by the companies as high operating cost, security, lengthy contract cycle, multiple levies and taxes, among others.