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Upstream Regulatory Commission To Overhaul Oil Licenses, Leases Mgt Procedure

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The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) is adopting a more strategic approach in the administration of crude oil exploration licenses and leases in the country.

This is in line with the objective of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to optimise value from acreage management and administration and the new acreage allocation principles enunciated in the law.

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Chief executive of the Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, who made this known yesterday said the assessment would seek to identify the areas of regulatory underperformance in acreage management and administration leading to the failure of licensees and lessees’ inability to carry out licence and lease performance obligations including the acquisition of data, drilling of wells and maturing of identified leads and prospects within the licence or lease span.

He said that to position the Commission on a Performance Centred paradigm for acreage management, a new strategy of acreage allocation, management and administration based on a holistic assessment of the prior performance of all licenses and leases awarded prior to the PIA is required.

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In a memo to senior management staff of the Commission, Komolafe listed the aspects of the new strategy to include review assignee performance and contributions to licences and lessees, review compliance performance in reporting milestones by licensees and lessees and the administration of regulatory consequence mechanisms, review loss allocation by licensees and lessees under the PIA,  including, production, cost and revenue, and performance review of existing multi-client arrangements and streamlining on-going activities to the PIA.

The assessment framework would require all existing licences and lessees to undergo a performance assessment audit of operation of licences and leases based on a framework to be developed by Lease and focussed on OPLs, OMLs, Marginal Fields and Multi client arrangements. Evaluation is expected to cover the following:

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  • Compliance with environmental requirements and with work programme commitments, compliance with revenue payment obligations and reporting obligations, audit of operation systems and third-party provider activities andassessment of Assignee roles and performance obligations

In the new dispensation, t. would be need for a team with representation from relevant departments to achieve performance schematic of existing licences and leases; identify oversight weakness, identify licencee and lessee centred failures in regulatory reporting requirements and other performance indices; improve oversight mechanism in line with the objective of the PIA and aspects of new strategy as well as develop fresh Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for acreage management and lease administration in line with the PIA.

The team which will be made up of a member each from Exploration and Acreage Management: Development & Production; Health, Safety, Environment and Community; Economic Regulation and Strategic Planning and the Legal Secretary Departments, is expected to submit a final report by August 30, 2022.

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