One of the unstated objectives of the Petroleum Industry Bill 2020 is to clarify the law and practice of ministerial consent for assignments of interest in upstream oil and gas licences and leases. This article addresses the extent to which it can be said that this objective has been achieved.
The enactment of the latest iteration of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will result in a separation of the regulatory, policy and commercial functions of the minister of petroleum resources. While the minister's influence may be perceived to have diminished under the PIB, this may not be the reality when all of the circumstances are taken into consideration.
The Local Content Development and Enforcement Bill 2020 recently passed its second reading in the House of Representatives and was subsequently referred to the Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring for further consideration. The bill seeks to amend the Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act by expanding its scope to capture changes in the industry.
The Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Bill 2020 recently passed its second reading in the Senate and was subsequently referred to the Committee on Local Content for further consideration. The bill seeks to amend existing sections of, and introduce new sections to, the extant Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act with the aim of aligning the act with industry best practices.
Two bills relating to the oil and gas industry recently passed their second reading in the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectfully. The Gas Flaring Bill seeks to prohibit gas flaring in Nigeria, while the Minerals and Mining Bill seeks to establish a regulatory framework for the Nigerian mining industry in line with international best practices and create a regulatory authority which will be responsible for ensuring fair competition and encouraging investments in the mining sector.
After the president issued regulations directing a lockdown of areas where oil and gas companies' head offices are located, the Department of Petroleum Resources issued a circular to ensure the safety and welfare of all personnel and contain the spread of COVID-19, directing that all operators and their contractors must comply with the directives of government authorities on measures such as social distancing, curfews and lockdowns and that the current situation constitutes force majeure.
The president recently submitted the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts (Amendment) Bill 2018 to the National Assembly for consideration and passage. The bill seeks to amend Section 16 of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, which was promulgated in 1999. If passed, it will alter the economic dynamics of production sharing contracts.
The House of Representatives recently considered a motion to declare Kogi, Enugu and Anambra oil producing states following the discovery of oil and gas deposits in commercial quantities. It subsequently urged the federal government to hold bids for oil prospecting and mining of the discoveries and declare the states oil producing states.
The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 recently underwent its second reading. If passed in its existing form, the bill will have a significant effect on the operations of the oil and gas industry. For example, the bill makes it mandatory for oil industry operators in Nigeria to subscribe to and be bona fide members of Clean Nigeria Associates and imposes a levy on oil companies calculated at 0.5% of their operations funds.