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NNPC outlines conditions for IOCs’ divestment from Upstream sector

*The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited restates the International Oil Companies divesting from Nigeria must address issues of abandonment and decommissioning of oil assets in the West African country

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has stated International Oil Companies (IOCs) that divest from the upstream sector of the Nigerian economy must address issues of abandonment and decommissioning of oil assets.

ConsumerConnect gathered Malam Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (GMD/CEO) of NNPC Limited, this at the opening session of the 5th Nigerian International Energy Summit, in Abuja, FCT.

Some IOCs

It was learnt his submission came against the backdrop of his earlier highlights of major guidelines that would guide the evaluation of would-be replacement of divesting partners in the oil and gas industry in the country.

In respect of recent divestments of IOCs from Nigeria’s upstream sector, told the conference participants, though the West African country understands the rights of companies to freely divest, it is critical to ensure that the right thing is done so as to avoid disruption in the system.

Issues and obligations related to abandonment and decommissioning must be fully addressed and discharged in line with global best practices, regulations, conventions, and laws, said the NNPC Chief.

Kyari further said: “Companies that are divesting are leaving our country literally and that’s the way to put it.

“But they are not leaving because opportunities are not here; these companies are shifting their portfolios where they can add value and not just that but where they can add to the journey of net carbon zero-emission.

“We understand this very perfectly. But also, we cannot afford to realize that this country must benefit from the realities of today.”

He also noted: “We will work with our partners, we understand the necessity for their investments.

“We do know that there are issues; we understand that this must take place, but also it must be done in such a way that we are able to deal with issues around abandonment and decommissioning.”

According to the GMD/CEO, Nigeria “will also make sure that whatever arrangement that is put in place, will show that we are also alive to the energy transition journey that we have embarked on.”

Kyari disclosed that currently, the NNPC is adopting various strategies towards the attainment of a carbon-neutral economy, while ensuring that the industry remains viable.

The passage of the PIA 2021, he stated, remains a key enabler and laudable reform in the Nigerian energy sector, clearly delineating various stakeholders’ roles to enhance value realisation in the sector.

Seplat Energy recently announced it had entered into a contract with Exxon Mobil to buy Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited’s entire oil assets in the West African country.

These include all of Exxon’s entire shallow water assets in the Niger Delta region.

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