The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, said he has received the assurances of the National Assembly that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed by June this year.
Baru stated this at the 2018 Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum (OLEF) organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, in Abuja.
Recall that the PIB, which has languished over many legislatures, was split into four parts by the present National Assembly to include the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, which was passed recently, remaining the Host Communities, Fiscal Reforms and Downstream Bills, which are awaiting passage.
Baru, who was represented at the lecture series by NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer Upstream, Dr. Rabiu Bello, said the Bills must be looked into in order to attract the needed N25 billion year-on-year investments to the industry.
He noted that, “In the area of policy, the popular omnibus single petroleum industry bill has been broken into four parts for quick review and passage by the National Assembly.
“As you aware, the first part of the bill, the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill was passed by the House recently. When the other sections of the bill are finally passed, it will unlock more than 10 billion dollars of investment held up due to uncertainty.
“The promise we got last week from the National Assembly was that before the end of the second quarter of this year which we see as June 30, they promise the three other bills will also be concluded and passed.
“So, hopefully, 2018 will see the end of all the discussions around the PIB which started in year 2000,” Baru said.
The NNPC boss further noted that its planned revamp of four of its refineries in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt, would include an upgrade of their collective refining capacities from their present 445,000 barrels per day (bpd) to one million barrels per day (mbd).
He added that once the 650,000 bpd Dangote Refinery in Lagos come on-stream, Nigeria would become a net exporter of refined petroleum products.
Baru also remarked that the Federal Government had completed more than 500 km gas pipelines in eight years.
“We have embarked on one of the most aggressive gas reforms and implementation. Accelerated implementation of gas pipeline infrastructure development, with specific focus on critical pipeline infrastructure to power plants being put in place.
“Between 2010 and today, almost 500 km of pipelines have been completed, commissioned and now delivering gas,” he said.
He listed some of the completed pipelines to include the Oben-Geregu (196km), Escravos-Warri-Oben (110km), Emuren-Itoki (50km), Itoki-Olorunshogo (31km), Imo River-Alaoji (24km), and Ukanafun-Calabar (128km).
“In addition, there is ongoing construction of the very strategic East-West OB3 pipeline (127km) scheduled for completion by Q3 2018.
“The expansion of the Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline System is scheduled for completion by Q1 2018. Most recently, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the contract award of the 40-inch by 614 Km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline and associated facilities.
“This pipeline is expected to supply natural gas to power plants and industries in the northern part of the country. Once completed, the nationwide backbone gas infrastructure will be in place.
“With the effort in infrastructure development, we would have expanded supply capacity, establishing an integrated gas pipeline infrastructure grid across the entire country,” Baru added.
The lecture had the theme: “`The Nigerian Oil Industry in a world of Changing Energy Supply: Are we prepared?”
It had panelists from across the sector charting the way forward on gas and renewable energy as oil would soon be phased out with the introduction of electric cars in industrialised countries.