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Nigeria Prepares To Reveal New Oil Bill 20 Years In The Making

Nigeria’s Senate is expected to see on Tuesday the presentation of the country’s petroleum industry bill, a new regulation on the oil industry that has taken 20 years to draft.

The bill is expected to be presented at the Nigerian Senate today, Reuters reported, quoting the legislation’s agenda it had seen.

The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has been two decades in the making to overhaul the way Nigeria will share its oil resources with international oil companies and aim to attract new investment in oil and gas.

The Senate could also be an obstacle to the final passing of the long-awaited bill, sources told Reuters.

Community leaders in Nigeria’s oil-rich regions want changes to the latest version of the bill, asking for a larger share of revenues for the community.

Therefore, it is not certain that Nigeria would soon have a new petroleum bill, which could further alienate international oil majors from Nigerian oil assets when fossil fuels are now even more fiercely competing for Big Oil’s capital plans as majors start shifting more funding to low-carbon energy sources.

Last month, Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corporation said it had signed a deal with Shell, Exxon, Total, and Eni to develop an offshore oil block that includes the deepwater Bonga field.

The NNPC noted the deal marks a historic moment as it settles long-running disputes between the Nigerian government and international oil companies.

According to the company, the deal could unlock up to $10 billion in new investments in Nigeria’s oil industry. It could also add 150,000 bpd to the country’s oil production, bringing the total output from the block—Oil Mining Lease 118—to 350,000 bpd, Bloomberg reports.

Interestingly, for Shell, the deal comes after earlier this year, chief executive Ben van Beurden said that Shell does not see its upstream oil operations in Nigeria as compatible with its strategy to become a net-zero energy business.

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By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com 

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