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    Nigeria launches probe into oil, gas sector performance


The probe will look into gas development plans, among other things.

by: NGW

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Nigeria launches probe into oil, gas sector performance

Nigeria's oil regulator announced on September 27 it would launch a probe into oil and gas sector performance, which will involve assessing whether exploration and production firms are complying with their contracts as well as their plans to develop gas reserves.

Nigerian oil output slid below 1mn barrels/day in August, arriving at 972,000 b/d, partly due to perennial problems with oil theft and the resulting damage to pipelines. In a statement on September 27, the head of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, said there were more fundamental problems than just "the much touted issue of crude theft," however.

Komolafe said companies would need to "present their work programme performance, acreage status, divestment plans (if any), field development plan implementation status [and] upstream investment in the last five years," without disclosing further details.

"The commission would also insist on knowing their gas development strategy, gas reserves commitment status and domestic gas delivery obligation performance," he said.

Nigeria is on a push to expand development of its substantial gas resources, to give gas a greater role in the domestic energy mix and provide extra supply for export. The recently-passed Petroleum Industry Act has provide extra incentives for this development.

The probe will help ensure transparency and accountability in the oil industry, Komolafe said, "to guarantee effective operation and output delivery in the interest of the country's economy and the benefit of the investors and industry operators."