Nigeria’s oil nostrum: what is the petroleum reform hoping to achieve?

"The primary aim of the PIB is to empower indigenous Nigerian business through localisation of opportunities, and localisation of use of resources that will give Nigeria – its people and its companies – a specific preferential interest or advantage in the industry" - Ford Garrard, Airswift Vice President - EMEA. Photo courtesy of Windfallenprojectsltd by way of Offshore Technology

Airswift Vice President of EMEA Ford Garrard recently spoke with Talal Husseini at Offshore Technology about the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), regarded as the first of four milestone reforms to boost exploration investments and keep Africa’s number one oil and gas producing-nation Nigeria competitive.

Once again, the plagued Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), now 17 years in the making, has hit a brick wall. President Muhammadu Burhari has declined to sign the bill that some argue could have revolutionised Nigeria’s petroleum industry. Reuters reports that Buhari was concerned it would take too much power from his government, among others, in its current form. What were the provisions of the bill and why is it so important that the PIGB is revised and passed?

The PIGB, or Governance Bill, is the first piece of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to reach the executive office. The other components of the PIB are the Petroleum Industry Administration Bill (PIAB), the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill (PIFB) and the Petroleum Host Community Bill (PHCB).

Nigeria is the largest of the oil-producing African nations and the 13th largest oil-producing nation worldwide in 2016, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The OPEC member pumps out around two million barrels of oil and condensate per day and accommodates global oil giants including Shell, Chevron, Total, ExxonMobil and Eni through joint ventures with state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

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