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Opinion

Nigeria’s rig count has increased from 61% to 29 as investors respond to the PIA and others – NUPRC

Nigeria’s rig count, a measure of upstream activity in the oil and gas industry, increased by 61.1 percent year on year, YoY, to 29 in September 2023, from 18 in the same time in 2019, due to increased investment.

The investment was motivated by the favorable impact of Nigeria’s Petroleum business Act, PIA, a comprehensive legislation aimed at reorganizing the business, increasing output, and improving openness and accountability.

The Commission Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe disclosed this in his presentation – Energy Transition Regime: Leveraging Investment Opportunities in the Nigerian Petroleum Sector – at the ongoing African Oil Week, AOW, in Cape Town, South Africa.

He said: “The PIA is positively impacting as it provides institutional governance, efficient administration, and attractive fiscal regimes while providing for host communities, thus creating a peaceful atmosphere for investment and operations.

“The federal government remains committed to increasing investment in gas in order to use it as its transitional fuel to a cleaner future. Projections indicate a potential shortfall of 10 billion cubic feet per day, bcf/d by 2030, thus presenting a huge opportunity for investment in the gas sector. High case supply needs to be attained to meet the base case demand.”

He said: “Supply is to be anchored on critical gas development projects that would create significant economic benefits and shared prosperity for Nigeria and partners by 2030.”

Already, the NUPRC boss disclosed that the Commission is partnering with TGS-Petrodata, a globally renowned organization to provide data, capable of enhancing clarity to investors.

He said: “We are currently partnering with TGS-Petrodata to acquire about 56,000 Square kilometers of 3D Seismic Gravity data in water depths ranging from 40 to 4,000 m to further de-risk the Niger Delta deep and Ultra Deep Offshore.

“The government is not paying for the provision of these data. However, the government stands to generate additional revenue. The investors would pay for the data and the revenue is to be shared by the government and TGS.

“Due to the specialised nature of the Geophysical Survey Vessel to be used for the acquisition of the 3D seismic and gravity data, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, granted no objection to TGS-PD to deploy the facility.

“Therefore, the 3D seismic and gravity data belongs to the Nigerian Government. Based on section 71(7) of the PIA, the Commission and Federal Government of Nigeria shall benefit from the revenue that will be generated from the data use license that will be granted to interested exploration companies by TGS-PD.”

He said: “Nigeria is very rich in all energy resources, including renewables and hydrocarbon resources. The nation presents a huge opportunity to African countries and other parts of the world, especially given the right fiscal and other incentives provided by the current administration.”

While noting that the Energy transition has affected the funding of hydrocarbon projects and programmes globally, he said: “The position of Nigeria is that the peculiarity of nations in energy development should be respected. Energy transition should be just in line with the peculiarity of nations. Nigeria will continue to develop its hydrocarbon resources and use the revenue to build critical infrastructure while transiting at its pace towards cleaner energy.

“With accurate planning and policies, adequate funds would be available for the funding of hydrocarbon projects. We are not only focusing on exploration and production of oil and gas but also midstream and downstream in order to meet increasing domestic demand.”

Similarly, the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Energy, Mrs. Olu Verheijen, who urged investors to consider Nigeria for investment, said: “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu continues to send out the clear message that we are open for business. He took decisive steps to stabilize our fiscal environment by removing a costly fuel subsidy and shifting towards a market-driven exchange rate.”

However, the President and CEO of Oando Clean Energy Limited, OCEL, Dr. Ainojie Irune, said: “Africa is a renewable energy powerhouse. We have the resources, the capacity, and the population. We can no longer excuse ourselves from getting involved in the energy transition.”

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