The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has expressed optimism that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), when signed into law, will resolve all issues bothering on the Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) on Gas in the country.
Speaking at the National Assembly Public Hearing organized by the Joint Committee on Gas Resources, Petroleum Resources, Upstream and Downstream in Abuja on the topic “Inclusion of Gas Terms on Production Sharing Contracts by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)”, he said issues on gas terms were not captured in the PSC because at that time, the offshore was just a frontier territory but today it is no longer frontier, it is a proven territory.
According to him, “There has been a lot of discussions on how we can change the terms, I believe that most of these issues will be addressed in the Petroleum Industry Bill, especially the issues around gas terms, which we all believe were not properly captured in the document”.
He further stated that given the potential of natural gas for industrialization, job creation and revenue generation for government, this is a significant error that ought to be corrected with all urgency.
He opined that part of the reason gas was not captured in the PSC was because it was not the focus in the exploration activities at the time. The new push for gas is what is needed for economic development in the country.
On domestic household usage, he disclosed that “we are also pushing for penetration, especially in the rural areas. The general idea is to make sure that gas is pushed to the fore in Nigeria”.
Chief Sylva appealed to the National Assembly to ensure passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill in April this year as they promised, noting that this will help the growth of the oil and gas sector and the country at large.
In his speech, the lead Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Nicholas Mutu said the committee would ensure that gas was utilized for economic development and Nigerians benefit from our huge deposit of gas.