Arbitrary Powers in the Petroleum Industry Bill

One of the significant highlights of the PETROLEUM INDUSTRY BILL 2012 are the arbitrary powers granted under it. In particular, ministerial power has been consolidated and appears to retain the colossal status of ministerial influence under the Petroleum Act 1969. This is in addition to the new absolute discretionary power granted to the President to grant petroleum prospecting licences and petroleum mining leases under the Bill. Our upcoming papers will spell out some of these powers along with other highlights of the PETROLEUM INDUSTRY BILL 2012. In the meantime, Thisday highlights some of the arbitrary powers introduced in the Bill here.

The Nation on oil companies’ objections to the PIB

Yusuf Alli writes on the perceived objections of the multinational oil companies to the PETROLEUM INDUSTRY BILL 2012. Some of the areas of objections mentioned in the article include increase in taxes and royalties and the grant of vast powers to the Minister of Petroleum. It should be noted that the  PETROLEUM INDUSTRY BILL 2012 does not explicitly increase royalty rates although it grants the minister powers to determine these rates by regulations. The article can be found here.

Alison-Madueke – Petroleum Industry Bill will boost output by attracting foreign investment

Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke is reported by Bloomberg commending the potential benefits of the PIB for investment in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. According to Alison-Madueke, the PIB is designed to create “a fair balance between small and big operators in the same terrain.” The Minister’s comments are likely to refer to the provisions for Production Allowances in Schedule 5 of the PETROLEUM INDUSTRY BILL 2012, which give producers an allowance in accordance with their levels of production. As an example, under those provisions, small oil producers in onshore areas that produce less than 27,300 barrels of oil per day would be entitled to oil production allowances of the lower of US$ 30 per barrel or 30% of the official selling price.