Oil companies making profits, host communities suffering: Presidency

International oil companies operating in Nigeria are making profits while most of the communities hosting them are being impoverished, the Presidency has declared.

In his goodwill message at the 4th National Council on Hydrocarbons held in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, decried the impoverishment faced by residents in the oil rich region where most IOCs operate.

Enang, whose statements were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the council, advised the NCH to take “cognisance that the host communities were still being impoverished while the IOCs keep making profits.”

He said local refiners should be recognised and integrated into the overall refining process.

The President’s assistant emphasised that the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, as well as the amnesty programme had trained some ex-militants on better refining techniques, adding that “they (ex-militants) should be engaged.”

In the communiqué, it was stated that the council further deliberated on the need for stakeholders to be aware of the development and prospects of the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme and the efforts being made to realise the objectives of the programme.

Participants spoke on the need to implement the Presidential Executive Order 5, giving preference to the engagement of duly registered firms and indigenous/expatriate engineering practitioners currently licensed by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria.

The council resolved to encourage regulatory agencies and other relevant ministries, departments and agencies to promote a competitive, efficient and transparent domestic liquefied petroleum gas market to enhance growth of Nigeria’s economy.

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It stressed the need to recommend the approval of the development of a pipeline network code to serve as a guiding document for building and protecting pipeline assets in Nigeria.

It recommended the principle of public private partnership in securing funds for constructing new and managing old pipeline assets in Nigeria.

The NCH harped on the need to consider crashing the contracting cycle in the oil sector from 24/36 months to not more than six months for maximum profitability.

It called for collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and the Department of Petroleum Resources on the possibility of acquisition of marginal field for the pilot 1,000 barrels per day modular refinery.

The council further recommended that multinational oil and gas prospecting companies should carry out a reshoot of all their previously shot acquired 2D and 3D fields, as the sites were now mature and had attained their oil peaks in the Niger Delta.

It also recommended that 4D seismic survey be the minimum threshold for new fields development in Nigeria to minimise the number of initial development wells, optimise phased development wells and permit early field intervention and upgrades to the depletion and reservoir management strategies.