The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has announced that the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) will be returned to the National Assembly for amendment.
Sylva stated this yesterday when the Country Chair and Managing Director of Total E & P (Nigeria), Mr. Mike Sangster led a high-powered delegation of his Company on a courtesy call on him in his office at Abuja.
According to the statement by the Head of Press Unit, Olujimi Oyetomi highlighted his vision for the Oil and Gas Industry, stressing the necessity of getting the PIGB revisited by the National Assembly.
“We need to tidy up the regulatory environment with the National Assembly. I have called the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for us to meet with the National Assembly and have a timeline which we can announce to the world,” the minister said.
Sylva was also quoted as saying that “We have to bring down our cost of production of crude, as we are presently a laughing stock in the way we do our business”; “I don’t see how we can sustain the losses.”
According to the statement, Sylva also frowned at the practice by some International Oil Companies (IOCs) of “selling our assets”, declaring that “those assets are amortized assets; you can’t sell what you don’t have!”
The Minister further stated that by now, he expected the country to be producing no less than four million barrels of crude per day (4mbpd) but decried the situation where “we are still hovering between 2 million and 2.2 million!”
Sylva said he is looking at the future of oil and declared that his realization is that “The quicker we produce our oil, the better for us. The Industry has to grow. We need to look at exploration”; as he decried that “Our reserves are growing far less than expected.”
The Minister also envisioned his administration of the sector to take a look at gas development: “Gas development, we need to look at that.”
The Total’s Country Chairman/Managing Director, Mr. Mike Sangster disclosed that the main purpose of the visit to the Minister is not only to congratulate him on his well-deserved appointment, but also to express Total’s firm belief in the Minister’s readiness to proffer solutions to the challenges facing the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
He further stated that Total would want to build on its longstanding partnership with Nigeria in such areas as cash call arrears.