Key industry players in Nigeria's oil and gas sector have analysed the 2017 National Gas Policy, with some saying the policy is “more of a wish list”.According to the industry experts, the new gas policy document would not encourage new investments for gas development, THISDAY reported.
The new policy document seeks to pursue the policy goals of the federal government for the gas sector as presented in the 7 Big Wins developed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the National Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP 2017 - 2020).
New gas policy
The policy, which intends to remove the barriers affecting investment and development of the sector, also sets an implementation plan for the introduction of an appropriate institutional, legal, regulatory and commercial framework for the gas sector.
However, oil and gas operators, who recently gathered at a three-day Nigeria Gas Summit 2017, in Lagos, argued that the new policy framework would favour those who are already producing crude oil against those who want to make new investments in gas production. Read more...
According to THISDAY, a renowned lawyer and head of energy and natural resources at Streamsowers & Kohn, Chiagozie Hilary-Nwokonko, said the policy did not provide a level-playing field for all the categories of investors.
"When you read the policy, for me, it is more of a wish list and frankly speaking, it is not a basis for significant new investments,” Hilary-Nwokonko said.
“The way the framework is structured at the moment - it favours certain type of investors. It favours basically, those who are able to recover their gas costs against their oil income. So, in that sense, you can argue that the playing field is not level for all kinds of investors,” he added.
Hilary-Nwokonko continued: “…the existing solutions to develop gas have created their own problems, including favouring those who are already producing crude oil against those who want to develop gas. There is a lack of framework for gas development, which has created uncertainty and clearly hampered development.”
Meanwhile, chief executive officer of Seven Energy, Manish Maheshwar, said the power sector could no longer attract funding as a result of the dysfunctional state of the value chain, caused largely by gas policies.
In response to the concerns, it is report that the director of Press at the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Idang Alibi, said the new gas policy would be reviewed and updated periodically to ensure consistency in government policy objectives at all times.
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