Nigerian Senate Passes Long-Awaited Petroleum Industry Governance Bill

After several years of waiting for the Nigerian government to agree on some form of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, the country’s Senate has finally passed a version of the PIGB. Lawmakers from the oil rich African nation set about rallying the country’s House of Representatives to pass the bill, as well. If Nigeria is capable of coordinating its efforts and passing a finalized version of the PIGB, then its oil and gas reserves will finally become truly open to the outside world.

The decision would have a huge impact on the African nation, allowing it to lean heavily on the vast petroleum reserves in the Niger Delta.

How Much Oil Is in Nigeria?

The opportunity for outside oil and gas investors to develop the Nigerian oil and gas industry is extremely exciting. Nigeria has an incredible amount of proven oil reserves, with more than 37 billion barrels of crude oil and 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas lying under its surface.

To put that in perspective, Nigeria has the second most oil and gas reserves in Africa (after Libya) and the tenth most oil and gas in the entire world. Unfortunately, these potentially profitable deposits have long been largely untouched because the Niger Delta’s lack of enforceable legislation.

What Does The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill Mean for Nigeria?

On May 12, President of the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria, Afe Mayowa told The Guardian, “Nigeria needs a bill that will give clarity to the operators in the sector. We have been in the oil and gas business for 50 years and we do not have clear rules for investment and that is why many other countries are fast ahead of us.”

Passage of Nigeria’s PIGB would help create five new government and commercial organizations aimed at building infrastructure and regulation for the country’s oil and gas industry.

The Job Still Isn’t Done Yet

It’s been nearly a decade since the first version of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill was introduced in the Nigeria’s National Assembly. In the years since, it’s been repeatedly discussed, but never passed successfully. The passage of the legislation by Nigeria’s Senate is a huge turning point for the country’s oil and gas industry and its economy as a whole.

There are still several more steps to go until Nigeria is gaining ground on its competitors in the area; it’s not even successfully through the house yet. That said, there’s a lot of optimism in the country as it looks forward to a bright future in oil and gas.

Posted in Oil and Gas Politics.