A popular African proverb states, “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.” This analogy emphasizes the consequences of conflicts or disputes between powerful entities, where the weaker or less influential ones bear the brunt of the negative effects. In the case of Nigeria’s upstream petroleum industry, the powerful entities are represented by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (“NUPRC”) and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (“NMDPRA”), while the weaker parties are the upstream companies regulated by them.
In recent months, these two entities have been engaged in a dispute over the authority to regulate terminal operations and the export of crude oil. This conflict stems from ambiguities in the Petroleum Industry Act (“PIA”). This paper traces the origins of the problem and proposes alternative approaches to the adversarial position taken by the regulators.Continue reading “NUPRC vs NMDPRA: Resolving the Quagmire Over the Regulation of Export Terminals“