By Favour Nnabugwu
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, has said hat Nigeria’s oil reserve grew by 0.37 percent in the past one year to hit 37.046 billion barrels from 36.910 billion barrels .
The Commission’s Chief Executive, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe told journalists in Abuja today that natural gas reserves also grew by 1.01 percent to 208.62 trillion cubic feet from 206.53TCF reported a year ago.
Engr. Komolafe explained that the latest reserve figures were based on reports filed by 61 operating companies as at January 1, 2022.
With Nigeria unable to boost oil production despite high prices at the international market, he explained that the commission would tackle all factors militating against efficient and effective exploration and production operations in the country.
According to him: “The Commission recognizes that the formulation of all-inclusive strategies to increase crude oil and gas reserves (from 37 billion barrels and 208.62 TCF) requires thorough consideration of all factors militating against efficient and effective exploration and production operations, and identification of low hanging fruits or opportunities.
“We have therefore become more deliberate and swifter in implementing strategic actions and initiatives aimed at increasing our crude oil and gas reserves and production. The Commission has initiated a massive campaign dedicated to the identification of oil and gas wells producing below capacity, through:
“Inventorisation of shut-in wells and analysis of the inventory to map the reasons for shut-in and devise measures for quick reopening;
Using well and reservoir surveillance activities in identifying poorly performing wells and work over candidates for quick intervention;
Embracing and adopting new technologies and advanced recovery techniques for unlocking some identified stranded oil and gas resources.
“The conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the attendant disruptions to the global gas demand-supply chain has provided Nigeria with a unique opportunity to fill this gap through the implementation of several natural gas developmental initiatives.
“As the Federal Government has declared the years 2021 – 2030 to be the Decade of Gas, the Commission is taking steps to expand and develop the Nation’s huge gas resources through enhanced gas exploration, development and utilization schemes which will lead to gas reserves growth, increased gas production, maturation of domestic and export gas market, as well as gas flare elimination.
“The Commission is currently engaging all lessees on their Natural Gas Flare Elimination and Monetisation Plan to ensure compliance with Section 108 of the PIA and boost supply to the rapidly growing gas market.
“Furthermore, in the face of the global energy transition and the need for cleaner sources of energy, gas is being positioned as our immediate transition fuel to lower the Nation’s carbon emission footprint in line with our climate change commitment.
“Additionally, we are encouraging investors to leverage on the generous gas fiscal incentives in the PIA such as zero hydrocarbon tax, reduced royalty rates, tax consolidation provisions amongst others to take Final Investment Decisions on their proposed upstream projects”.
Questioned on when the Host Community Fund provided for the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 would commence, Engr. Komolafe said guidelines for the operationalisation of the Fund would be ready in June.
“We have had several stakeholders forum on new guidelines for the PIA and they were well attended. This I want to believe is on the basis of the fact that the issue of host community is a very good interest to all those members of oil producing states. As a matter of fact, the stakeholders meeting was well attended but specifically the implementation of the host community will begin in full swing once the regulation becomes operational.
“I actually gave a timeline as to when that will become operational, I gave the status of where we are as a commission in trying to finalise the regulation because it’s the regulation that will give meaning to the intent of the law. It will give a guide on how the host community will be formed and will be implemented. So, we believe, again, maybe like I said, before the end of the month of June, the regulations guiding the condition of the host community would be fully replaced and the implementation of the host community would be in full swing”.