The Federal Government, under the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), plans to set up Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority to regulate operators in the midstream and downstream oil industry.
The downstream oil and gas sector is currently regulated by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), while the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) also regulates the activities in the upstream and the downstream sector.
Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, had on September 3, announced that PEF and PPPRA would be merged to form a new regulatory body called the “Authority”.
This, he said, would help to harmonise activities in the downstream for efficiency in service delivery to Nigerians.
According to the new bill which is currently before the National Assembly for consideration, the Authority will have the power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, sue and be sued on its own name.
It said, “The Authority shall be responsible for the technical and commercial regulation of the midstream and the downstream petroleum operations in the petroleum industry,”.
It said that the Authority would focus on regulating the midstream and downstream technical, operational and commercial activities.
The bill indicated that the agency would also ensure safe, effective and sustainable infrastructure development in the midstream and downstream petroleum operations.
“It will also promote health safe, efficient and effective conduct of midstream and downstream petroleum operation in an environmentally acceptable and suitable manner.
“Also, it will promote a competitive market for the midstream and downstream petroleum operations and promote the supply and distribution of natural gas and petroleum products in the midstream and downstream,” it said.