20 December 2012

Nigeria: Oil Fields Drop to Ten - Report

Lagos — Active oil fields in Nigeria which stood at 46 five years ago have dropped to 10 in the outgoing year, according to a report conducted by the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The report titled "Year End Business Environment Report", was signed by its Director-General, Muda Yussuf and made available to our correspondent.

It attributed the drop in the number of oil fields to lack of new investment in exploration which was fuelled by policy summersault of the federal government.

The report also noted that the uncertainty about the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) persisted as the fate of the bill is still unknown.

"Given the enormity of capital requirement for investment in this sector, it is difficult to expect any progress in the circumstances," the report said.

The report said upstream oil and gas companies expressed concern over the capacity of contractors in the sector leading to exorbitant cost of contracts and unsatisfactory delivery in quality and time.

According to the report, there were often disputes between the oil companies and contractors; and between the government and oil companies.

It, however, said no mechanism for speedy resolution of such disputes was put in place as the development constitutes a major albatross for upstream investors.

The report also noted the rising security lapses leading to escalation of oil theft and vandalisation and implored legislators and all relevant stakeholders to expedite the passage of the new Petroleum Industry Bill. It advised federal and state governments to show better commitment to the development of host communities.

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