Komolafe to Lead Special Oil Industry Stakeholders’ Discussion on IOCs’ Divestments

Peter Uzoho

The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Mr. Gbenga Komolafe will at a workshop in Lagos next week galvanise oil and gas industry players to deliberate on the implications of the gale of divestments by the international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria.

The workshop is being organised by the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE).

The one-day hybrid workshop has as its theme: “The Big Sale: Opportunities in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry from Assets Divestments.”

Komolafe, who has been slated to deliver a special guest presentation at the workshop, would be joined by other top industry stakeholders and chief executives including the Chairman of AA Holdings, Austin Avuru; Chief Executive Officer of Waltersmith Petroman Oil, Chikezie Nwosu; and Chairman, Energia, George Osahor amongst others.

NAPE in a statement issued yesterday and jointly signed by its President, Dr. James Edet and the Publicity Secretary, Ms. Tunbosun Afolayan, said the workshop would examine the overall Nigerian oil and gas divestment activities to enable the identification of opportunities for all stakeholders, including local players, operators, servicing companies as well as upstream, midstream and downstream infrastructure owners.

The IOCs including Shell, TotalEnergies, Eni, Chevron and ExxonMobil have remained adamant in selling off their onshore and shallow water oil assets in Nigeria, citing several reasons including massive oil theft and bunkering activities in the Niger Delta, vandalisation of oil assets, high cost of operation, unfavourable fiscal regime among others.

NAPE observed that in the last 15 years there have been multiple divestments of oil and gas assets in Nigeria’s onshore and shallow offshore areas and that the scale of these divestments was larger and more frequent.

It pointed out that several conversations and engagements had focused on why divestments were taking place, adding, however, that there was a need to discuss the possible benefits of divestments to all stakeholders.

It noted that globally, the oil and gas industry was undergoing an accelerated evolution to respond to the world’s growing demand for cheaper, cleaner, and sustainable energy.

The explorationists maintained that Nigeria was not exempted from these substantial considerations, stressing that the 70-year-old Nigeria oil and gas upstream industry was going through additional significant transformations that were completely changing its business landscape.

The statement added, “These transformations are driven primarily by the passing into law of the ‘Petroleum industry Act’, asset divestments and insecurities of critical upstream facilities.

“The workshop gathers critical stakeholders, decision makers and eminent speakers of the Nigerian oil & gas industry to discuss opportunities, barriers, and solutions to challenges to harness the opportunities in the Nigerian oil and gas divestments.

“There are focused presentations to be delivered on the following topics: Divestment opportunities and the challenges of insecurity, crude theft, and asset decommissioning; Funding challenges, divestment strategies and incentives; PIA, the new laws and policies; as well as regulator’s role in divestments.

“The event will also feature a moderated six-man panel session on the main theme of the workshop, which will include Opportunities from divestment for local players, operators, servicing companies and upstream to midstream infrastructure owners.

“Others are solutions to key barriers, challenges, and issues that prevent access to divestment opportunities,

Implication of divestment on National revenue, community engagement and Local content.”

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