FG to create new gas industry regulator – Petroleum minister
The federal government of Nigeria plans to create an independent agency to perform the roles of the gas industry regulator, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister Petroleum Resources said on Monday.
He said the government would remain the policy maker but the “new independent petroleum regulatory authority” would be “established and empowered with sufficient capacity to regulate the petroleum industry”.
Nigeria has the world’s ninth-largest proven gas reserves, at 187 trillion cubic feet (tcf), but loses half of it to flaring and re-injection.
In the last few months, the country has been plagued by gas shortages due to militants carrying out attacks on gas and oil installations in the southern Niger Delta energy hub.
Kachikwu, in a speech at a conference organised by the Nigerian Gas Association, said the new agency would “cover the activities of the existing petroleum regulatory authorities as well as new responsibilities”.
“Gas industry regulator will be responsible for the economic, competition, technical, and safety regulation of the gas sector and shall have licensing, investigative, monitoring and dispute resolution powers,” he said.
He did not specify when the new gas industry regulator would be set up.
He said the plans were contained in the petroleum industry bill – long-awaited legislation to overhaul the petroleum sector that has been stuck in parliament for a decade – that was being drafted.
Kachikwu said most of the investment required to overhaul the gas industry would be drawn from the private sector.
In a separate address to the conference, the managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru, said the state energy company sought $51 billion of investment in the midstream and downstream gas sector.
Of that, he said investment of $35.4 billion would be required in areas including gas exploration and production activities, power plant projects and fertiliser plants.
And a further $16 billion investment would also be needed for infrastructure development, port infrastructure and gas transmission.