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By Celestine Okafor (Editor-in-Chief) @CelestineOkaf11

In furtherance of the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) of the Federal Government, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) is planning a Bidders’ Conference/Investors Forum where stakeholders and investors in the country’s upstream petroleum sector will be offered the opportunity to seek clarifications on the programme.

This was made known on Tuesday January 24, 2023 by the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Engr. Gbenga Komolafe.

The conference, according to Komolafe, is scheduled for February 2, 2023 in Abuja and would be coming barely a month after a similar conference was held in Lagos on January 16, 2023 for interested stakeholders and investors in the proposed mini bid round for deep offshore oil fields.

Participants in next week’s event include qualified applicants, financiers, technology providers, equipment manufacturers, service providers, funders, and other interested entities

The Abuja conference which is programmed as a hybrid event with a virtual option will not only afford participants the opportunity to seek clarifications and provide valuable inputs on the programme requirements but will also facilitate engagements of qualified applicants with technology providers, prospective lenders, finance institutions; as well as foster business relationships and partnerships for the overall Programme success.

SYNOPSIS

Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission in August 2022, re-launched the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (“NGFCP 2022”) to drive Nigeria’s commitment to end routine gas flaring within the decade, support the imperatives of the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan (ETP) and create value from waste.

The NGFCP 2022 was restructured to reflect current gas flaring situation and prevailing operational realities in the industry, as well as changes in the socio-economic landscape due to the passage of time since the NGFCP was originally conceived in alignment with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA).

It would be recalled that the PIA was enacted to redefine the legal, governance, regulatory, and fiscal structure of the Nigerian oil and gas industry for enhanced efficiency and value. In addition to establishing the Commission as the upstream technical and commercial regulator, the PIA provides a clear framework for flare elimination & monetisation in Nigeria which underpins the redesign of the NGFCP.

The Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA) and its enhanced regulatory enablers have addressed the bottlenecks that hitherto impeded the expeditious implementation of the Programme. The NGFCP 2022 is therefore modified to deliver end-to-end value from flare gas commercialisation to both existing and new participants.

In accordance with Section 105 (2) of the PIA and similar provisions enabling the Commission in that respect, the Commission commenced the Request for Qualification (RFQ) stage of the NGFCP 2022 through the issuance of Statement of Qualification (SOQ) to enable existing applicants to validate their status and for new investors to register to participate through the NGFCP website/ portal.

The NGFCP 2022 recorded significant interest from stakeholders including existing participants, new investors, multi-lateral institutions, equipment manufacturers and the wider investment communities, both domestic and international.

As at the SOQ submission deadline, three hundred (300) companies/entities had registered their interest to either revalidate their prequalification status as existing participants or submit Statement of Qualification (SOQ) as new participants.

Also, in line with the provisions of the RFQ, the SOQ evaluation exercise was conducted by the Commission where in a total of One Hundred and Thirty-Nine (139) applicants were deemed successful and awarded the Qualified Applicant status.

To that end, and in reliance on Section 105 (2) of the PIA and similar provisions enabling the Commission in that respect, the Commission has published the list of Qualified Applicants who will proceed to the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase of the NGFCP 2022. (Details of the SOQ evaluation exercise can be accessed on the NUPRC Website and NGFCP Portal via www.nuprc.gov.ng and ngfcp.nuprc.gov.ng, respectively).

THE NGFCP 2022 – AN OVERVIEW

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) maintains a long-standing policy against gas flaring due to its deleterious impact on host communities, the effect on global climate change and the resource waste and value erosion the unwholesome practice represents. To this end, the FGN pledged its commitment to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2060 at COP26, passed the Climate Change Act, and recently launched the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan, all of which reinforced the need for the oil and gas industry to spearhead government’s mandate to reduce carbon emissions.

The recently enacted PIA has overhauled the legal/regulatory landscape and established the NUPRC as the upstream technical and commercial regulator, charged to implement the industry transformational reforms for the upstream sector for enhanced efficiency and productivity, including the FGN’s Flares-out mandate. These landmark changes made the redesign of the NGFCP imperative.

Consequently, the Commission restructured the NGFCP to ensure that the flare auction process is executed in line with prevailing realities via an accelerated delivery timeline. The renewed Programme will preserve opportunities for existing applicants while expanding participation to new investors.

NGFCP 2022 is therefore a new iteration of the flare commercialisation initiative modified to adapt to changes in the industry and market with a renewed focus to implement Government’s policy objectives for flare elimination, environmental sustainability, and gas-based industrial economy in Nigeria.

OBJECTIVES OF THE NGFCP 2022

The overarching objectives of the Programme are highlighted as follows:

Eliminate routine gas flaring and create additional revenue from gas sales.

Monetise flare gas resources, prevent pollution and create value from waste gas.

Deepen in-country value addition through indigenous participation in the sector, in line with the provisions of the PIA.

Support the achievement of the National Determined Contributions (NDC) towards the Paris agreement (COP 26) and the Nigerian Energy Transition Plan (ETP)

Attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the Oil and Gas Industry

Create gas-based industrialisation for enhanced socio-economic benefits in and around host communities in producing areas.

OUTCOME OF THE SOQ EVALUATION EXERCISE

The Commission is delighted to record significant interests from wide-ranging investors, business communities and stakeholder groups in the first-of-its-kind flare commercialisation programme. Following series of high-profile engagements, investment fora and road-shows led by the Commission Chief Executive (CCE), a total of 300 registered to revalidate their prequalification status or submit Statement of Qualification (SOQ) as existing bidders or new participants, respectively.

Following evaluation of the submitted SOQs, a total of 139 applicants were deemed successful and awarded the Qualified Applicant status in line with the provisions of the RFQ.

In consideration of Section 105 (2) of the PIA and similar provisions enabling the Commission in that respect, the Commission has published the list of Qualified Applicants on the NUPRC website and NGFCP Portal. The successful applicants have been duly notified and will therefore proceed to the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase. The RFP Package and supporting materials have been approved by the Commission Chief Executive (CCE) for issuance to the Qualified Applicants.

ISSUANCE OF THE RFP AND SUITE OF COMMERCIAL AGREEMENTS

Following series of stakeholder consultations to ensure robustness of the RFP and that the concerns of investors, producers, and interest groups are adequately addressed, the Commission has issued the RFP package and Suite of Commercial Agreements to the Qualified Applicants. This is to enable Qualified Applicants ample time to study the document and commence packaging their bids. Additional comments, inputs and feedback from relevant stakeholders will be received, evaluated, and considered during the upcoming Bidders’ Conference & Investors’ Forum.

Finally, on behalf of the Board and Management of the Commission, I heartily congratulate all successful applicants and enjoin them to follow through with the subsequent stages of the Programme towards becoming a Permit Holder/Flare Gas Buyer in line with the applicable statutes. NNL.

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