Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), yesterday, said the nation’s oil and gas sector would, before the end of August this year, incorporate distinct midstream entities.
Chief Executive of NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, disclosed this in Abuja at a General Counsel and Legal Advisers’ Forum. He said the shift occasioned by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is disruptive and would require the support of all stakeholders to achieve the plans.
Ahmed, who was represented by Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA, Ogbugo Ukoha, said operators must understand the shift in the industry and the distinct roles of two regulators to adjust their operating models.
According to him, the provisions in the law were not done in isolation but with a clear target aimed at remodeling the oil and gas value chain in Nigeria by creating distinct midstream business entities which had previously been subsumed in upstream operations.
Ahmed said: “It was on the above note that I directed the incorporation of midstream entities before August 30,2023 in line with Section 302 (3). Such separation will ensure a clear and distinct midstream which as highlighted earlier, is one of the cardinal expectations of the PIA and provide a clearer line of sight and focus on the deepening of the midstream. It is one of our core mandates.”
He noted that the major policy shift that the implementation of the PIA has necessitated may have significantly impacted operators’ business models while calling on operators to fully adjust and change their modus operandi.
“To fast track the implementation of the PIA, all stakeholders must adhere to the provisions of the law and in situations where ambiguities or lacunas exist, engagements such as this forum must be encouraged to seek clarity and deepen collaboration,” he stressed.
The Authority Secretary/Legal Adviser, Dr. Joseph Tolorunse, said the forum presents a unique opportunity for deepening understanding of the midstream and downstream petroleum sector, regulatory framework and the business and investment opportunities in the PIA.
He said the move would deepen industry legal practitioners’ understanding of the authority, power, functions and regulations, provide clarity on perceived regulatory overlaps between the authority and the commission and promote business enabling and investment opportunities.