Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nigeria’s Oil Bill Needs a ‘Little Review’ Before Passage

Diezani Alison-Madueke / Nigerian Energy Minister

By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo

Nigeria needs to review a new bill which will regulate how the government runs the oil industry of Africa’s top producer before it is passed into law by parliament, a former energy minister said.

Energy companies’ concerns that the proposed law will make investments in deep water oil fields unprofitable have been addressed, former energy minister Diezani Alison-Madueke told lawmakers today in Abuja, the capital. The bill still needs “a certain amount of reviewing” before it is passed, she said.

Alison-Madueke and seven others were approved by parliament as ministers in President Goodluck Jonathan’s new cabinet, according to today’s proceedings.

The Petroleum Industry Bill, which will reform the way the oil industry is funded and regulated, has been in the legislature for more than two years, stalling new projects in the industry as producers including Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Total SA (FP) backed away from investment until the law is passed.

Nigeria is the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports. Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. (CVX), Total and Eni SpA (ENI) run joint ventures with the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. that pumps about 90 percent of the country’s crude.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Cunningham at

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