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NUPRC: Invitation to Consultation Forum for Regulations on Oilfield Operations, Contract Administration, Lease Revocation, etc

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission invites industry stakeholders to consultation forums on its phase Four consultation forum.

That forum is to focus on draft regulations or amendments to regulations on the following draft regulations:

1.1. Draft Upstream Commercial Operations Regulations

1.2. Draft upstream Petroleum Code of Conduct & Compliance Regulations

1.3. Draft Upstream Petroleum Development Contract Administration Regulations

1.4. Draft Upstream Revocation of licences and Lease Regulations

1.5. Draft Upstream Petroleum Assignment of Interest Regulations

1.6. Draft Nigerian upstream Petroleum (Administrative Harmonisation) Regulations

1.7. Draft Amendment to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development Regulations 2022. 2.

The consultation forum is scheduled to take place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, in two segments as follows: 2.1. Segment 1 – 9th, 10th, 11th, and 13th of October 2023 (10am Daily)

2.1.1. Draft Upstream Revocation of licences and Lease Regulations

2.1.2. Draft Upstream Petroleum Assignment of Interest Regulations

2.1.3. Draft Upstream Commercial Operations Regulations

2.1.4. Draft Upstream Petroleum Development Contract Administration Regulations

2.2. Segment 2 – 8th, 9th and 10th November 2023 (10am Daily)

2.2.1. Draft upstream Petroleum Code of Conduct & Compliance Regulations

2.2.2. Draft Nigerian upstream Petroleum (Administrative Harmonisation) Regulations

2.2.3. Draft Amendment to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Host Communities Development Regulations 2022.

“This Phase Four (4) Consultation Forum with stakeholders on draft regulations , is pursuant to the petroleum industry act (pia) 2021 1. in line with section 216 (1) of the pia 2021, which requires the commission to consult with stakeholders prior to finalising regulations or amendments to regulations”, says Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive.


Pan African Bank to Pump $300MM into Congolese Oilfield Development

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Brazzaville signed an agreement to provide a $300Million facility to Trident OGX Congo in a transaction expected to raise the Republic of Congo’s crude oil production by an estimated 30 per cent.

The reserve-based lending facility will enable Trident OGX Congo to implement a capital expenditure programme to ramp-up crude oil production from the Mengo-Kundji-Bindi II (MKB II) oil fields

Under the terms of the agreement, signed by Ibrahima Bagarama, Regional Chief Operating Officer – Central Africa, for Afreximbank, and John Chisholm and Olivier Okota, member of the Board of Directors and Director General of Trident OGX Congo respectively, Trident OGX Congo, a fully owned subsidiary of Trident OGX International Pte Ltd, Singapore, will use the proceeds of the facility to partially finance and kickstart a seven-year development programme on the MKB II permit area located in the coastal plains between Pointe Noire, the foothills of Mayombe mountains and the border with Angola’s Сabinda enclave.

Upon completion of the field development plan, the transaction is expected to increase the Republic of Congo’s crude oil production level by up to 30 per cent and to add a considerable number of jobs to the country’s economy.

“This important project which promises to bring investment of about $1.5Billion into Congo’s oil and gas sector, will generate significant revenues that will enable the Government create more jobs and provide more socio-economic infrastructure for the people”, remarked Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Afreximbank,.

“We are also pleased that operations at the Mengo-Kundji-Bindi II oil fields will be conducted in adherence with best practices of environmental standards, by hydraulic fracturing process”, he said.

In addition to the Trident Group, Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo and Orion Group also have shareholding in the asset to be operated by Trident OGX Congo.

AfDB Funded Initiative Enables Small Ugandan Firms to Prosecute Oil Pipeline Projects

Close to 200 Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Large and Medium Contractors who will be working on the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

The MSMEs were selected from the ten (10) districts where the pipeline passes.

The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has been implementing an African Development Bank (AfDB) project for MSMEs Business Linkages training along the EACOP project. The AfDB and the Government of Uganda signed a US$500,000 grant agreement to finance the capacity building of MSMEs to boost business linkages along the EACOP.

The overall goal of the project was to support local MSMEs along the EACOP to develop capacity and open access to new market opportunities through the creation of business linkages between micro and small medium enterprises together with linkages between SMEs and larger national, regional, or international companies.

The project, which was launched in Mubende District in January 2021, has seen over 400 SMEs in the EACOP districts trained. Of these, 137 were women and youth-led enterprises, according to a statement by the PAU..

The statement quotes Martin Byaruhanga, team leader of ESTEEM International Consultants, who undertook the Business Linkages training for the MSMEs, as saying that the programme surpassed the set targets of the number of MSMEs trained and partnered with the large contractors.

“A total of one hundred and thirty-eight (138) MoUs were signed between between Micro and Small Companies with fifty (50) medium-sized companies against the targeted total of 50 MoUs, thus, exceeding the target by 88 MoUs (276 percent),” Mr Byarunga explained.

Under the second cluster, a total of 41 MoUs were signed between medium-sized companies and large companies, against the targeted 20 MoUs, thus, exceeding the target by 21 MoUs (205 percent).

Gloria Sebikari, Manager Corporate Affairs, says that the signing of the MoU is a clear indication of a growing recognition of the important role that MSMEs play in the development of the oil and gas industry in East Africa. “With the support of the AfDB and the Government of Uganda, capacity-building initiatives and business linkages, training will be provided to more MSMEs”.

The PAU declares that the MoU is a significant step towards the development of a sustainable oil and gas industry in East Africa.

“It is anticipated that more MSMEs will come on board, leading to further growth and economic development. The PAU and other stakeholders are committed to supporting local entrepreneurs and ensuring that they benefit from the oil and gas industry”, the authority explains. 


In 10 Months of Barging Crude, Newcross Distances itself from the ‘Jinx’ in Eastern Nigerian Onshore’s NCTL Pipeline

Of the four Nigerian owned, acreage holding producers who inject their crudes into the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), Newcross E&P Ltd has emerged the one with the truest grit.

In August 2022, it exited the line, which has lain prostrate since 2021 and contracted a shuttle tanker MV Bryanston, to ferry its barged crude to the Bonny Terminal.

Since its December 2022 gross output of 5,074BOPD (Net-2,283BOPD) from the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 24, Newcross has maintained gross production higher than 10,000BOPD for the entire…

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NCDMB, NNPC, Oil Majors, in League to Streamline Contracting Process

By Abdulwaheed Sofiullahi, Reporter, SOEs

The Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with some of the country’s hydrocarbon producers, including state owned NNPC Ltd as well as five International Oil Companies (IOCs).

The MoU is aimed at reducing the contracting cycle to a maximum of 180 working days.

The agreement, released on September 26, 2023 at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, focuses on the efficiency goals outlined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), to establish an industry framework for optimizing the contracting cycle.

Key highlights of the framework in the MoU include reductions in the contracting cycle for open competitive tenders, selective tenders, and single sourcing tenders to 180, 178, and 128 working days, respectively, compared to the existing best effort performance of 327, 333, and 185 working days, respectively.

“An optimized contracting cycle is poised to enhance the ease of conducting business, lower costs, and drive efficiency, ultimately leading to increased production, higher revenues, and improved profitability”, according to a statement issued after the signing.

Signing on behalf of NCDMB was the agency’s Executive Secretary, Simbi Kesiye Wabote. The NNPC Ltd was represented by its Executive Vice President, Upstream, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan.  The participants described the MoU as a forward-looking step that will significantly enhance the nation’s crude oil production.

Representatives of IOCs, including the Managing Directors and Country Chairs of Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, TOTALEnergies, and ENI, pledged their commitment and support for the MoU’s implementation for the mutual benefit of all parties.

“This framework aligns with the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimization Program (NUCOP) and is in accordance with the directive from the President for NNPC Ltd. and NCDMB to collaborate with the industry to improve the petroleum sector’s performance”, the statement added.


STAC Marine Wraps Up Purchase of Abo FPSO for $20Million

The Nigerian marine operator STAC Marine Offshore Limited, has finalised the purchase of the Abo Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel from BW Offshore, the Norwegian provider of floating productions solutions.

As part of the transaction, BW Offshore has entered into a bareboat charter with STAC to allow for uninterrupted operations for the client during a transition period of maximum two months. Upon expiry of the bareboat charter, STAC will assume responsibility for operations of the unit.

STAC is a member of the Nigerian Transport Group (STAC).

BW Offshore has managed the Abo FPSO since the Abo deepwater field came on stream in 2003.

In the last five months, it had been seeking to end the contract with ENI, the Italian operator of the field. It has had three short contract extensions between June and September 2023.

This sale of the vessel to a Nigerian firm, effectively removes the responsibility of running the FPSO, from BW Offshore’s shoulders.

Originally recognised as the “Gray Warrior“, a Suezmax tanker constructed in 1976, the vessel underwent conversion at Keppel Shipyard before beginning its operations in April 2003. “Abo FPSO has now reached a commendable milestone, having completed two decades of service on the Abo field. This achievement underscores its enduring contribution to the oil and gas industry in Nigeria”, BW Offshore says in a statement.

ENI Awards Fellow Italian Company the SURF Contract in deepwater Côte d’Ivoire

Italian engineering firm Saipem, has been awarded a new contract for offshore activities in Côte d’Ivoire.

The company reported two contracts in Côte d’Ivoire and Italy for an overall amount of 850Million Euro.

It did not indicate the cost of either activity.

The contract in Côte d’Ivoire is for installation of Subsea Umbilicals, Risers and Flowlines (SURF)  for the development of the Baleine Phase 2 project, located in 1,200metre water depth offshore the West African country.

The SURF contract is the fourth in a string of contracts that the company would be handed by ENI, the Italian major and operator of the field development. “Saipem contributed to the drilling activities of Baleine Phase 1 by deploying the Saipem 10000 and Saipem 12000 vessels, followed up by the execution of two contracts for Baleine Phase 1 in fast-track mode”, the contractor testifies in a statement.

The scope of work encompasses the Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation (EPCI) of approximately 20 km of rigid lines, 10 km of flexible risers and jumpers and 15 kilometres of umbilicals connected to a dedicated floating unit. The installation works will be carried out by Saipem’s best-in-class offshore construction vessels and will take place in 2024.

“With this new award”, Saipem says it “brings a further strategic contribution to the history of the Baleine field and strengthens its presence in Côte d’Ivoire”.


Indorama Looks to Invest in Egypt

The Indonesian conglomerate Indorama has signed a memorandum of understanding with “Egypt Soyadi Fund” to study investment opportunities in a number of sectors in Egypt.

Indorama is widely known in Africa for its gas to fertilizer projects as well as chemical factories. It manufactures chemicals in Senegal, while its petrochemicals complex in Nigeria consumes over 100Million standard cubic feet of gas per day.

In Egypt, it plans to study investment opportunities in mining, industry, fertilizer, phosphate extraction, medical fiber, and a group of other industries, and agreed to study the company’s partnership opportunities.

“The Memorandum of Understanding contributes to deepening the relationship between Egypt and the with Indorama Global Company”, according to a government communique, “entering into an active partnership with one of the largest companies, and giving the fund the opportunity to benefit from the experience the company has gained, and contribute to the localization of the latest technologies in multiple sectors in Egypt”.

Together with its partners Indorama Ventures General Limited has distributed manufacturing activities in 169 locations in 39 countries with a production volume of more than 30 million tons annually and sales exceed $25Billion.

Nigerian Agip Sells its Onshore Operated Assets to Oando

Italian major ENI has announced the signing of an agreement with NSE & JSE listed  Oando PLC – for the sale of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Ltd (NAOC Ltd), the wholly ENI-owned subsidiary focusing on onshore oil & gas exploration and production in Nigeria, as well as power generation.

NAOC Ltd is present with interests in Nigeria across four onshore blocks (OML 60, 61, 62, 63), which it operates on behalf of NAOC JV (operator NAOC Ltd 20%, Oando 20%, NNPC E&P Limited 60%), in the Okpai 1 and 2 power plants (with a total nameplate capacity of 960MW), and in two onshore exploration leases (OPL 282 and OPL 135, respectively 90% and 48%) for which it also holds operatorship.

The assets’ gross output is around 30,000Barrels of Oil Per Day and 500Million standard cubic feet per day of gas. On an output basis, it is the least performing Joint Venture among the five JVs operated by oil majors in Nigeria.

NAOC Ltd’s participating interest in SPDC JV (Shell Production Development Company Joint Venture – operator Shell 30%, TOTALEnergies 10%, NAOC 5%, NNPC 55%) is not included in the perimeter of the transaction and will be retained in ENI’s portfolio.

Following the transaction completion with Oando PLC, ENI will maintain its presence in Nigeria through Nigerian Agip Exploration (NAE) and Agip Energy and Natural Resources (AENR), reiterating the company’s commitment to its employees health and safety, as well as to the environment. ENI continues to operate in the country focusing on operated offshore activities. Participations in operated-by-others assets, both onshore and offshore, and Nigeria LNG will remain in ENI portfolio too.

The transaction is consistent with ENI2023-2026 Plan. The Upstream will supplement the core organically led growth with inorganic high-grading activity, adding resources with incremental value while divesting resources that can offer greater value and opportunities to new owners.

The closing of this transaction is subject to, inter alia, the authorization of all relevant local and regulatory authorities.

‘Bring Forth More Crude Oil, quickly’: Tinubu’s Energy SA in Separate One on One with Oil Producers

Olu Verheijen, SA to President Tinubu on Energy

Olu Verheijen, Special Adviser (SA) to the Nigerian President Bola Tinubu on Energy, has been engaging oil producing companies one-on-one on the theme of boosting the country’s crude oil output volume.

The meetings have been taking place at the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC)’s offices in Abuja. NUPRC calls them “tripartite engagements”.

Ms. Verheijen has met with officials from First E&P as well as officials from Waltersmith, at different times.  Her team has also consulted with NNPC at the operational level as well as had a direct interface with NUPRC officials regarding how basic regulatory practices impact work on the field. Engagements with other companies are to follow.

Nigeria’s crude oil output has struggled in the 1.1 to 1.3Million Million barrels per day range between January 1 and July 31, 2023, and in one particular month, April 2023, dropped below 1Million barrels per day on average. The engagements are being conducted on the premise that improvement in operating stewardship can free up some thousands of crude oil per day currently locked behind pipe, while the larger issues of crude oil theft, metering integrity, take-off of new host community regulations and the overall inclement investment climate, are being addressed.

“At the end of the engagements, solutions will emerge to tackle existing problems after engaging in a robust discussion”, says Gbenga Komolafe, NUPRC chief executive.

“Verheijen invokes the President’s goals and target on the volume of what we are expected to produce as a nation and speaks on the urgency of the moment to ascertain the possible short term, midterm and long-term goals on our production target and NUPRC’s contribution to this target”, according to a statement by the regulator.


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