TimeTestedNews |Oil theft: NUPRC introduces advanced cargo declaration


To curb the incessant oil theft, the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has introduced an Advanced Cargo Declaration regime in upstream petroleum operations.

The commission also announced plans to reactivate shut-in wells as part of initiatives to increase oil and gas production.


The Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, Gbenga Komolafe, broke the news at the Annual International Strategic Conference, organised by the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC), in Lagos.

Represented by Abel Nsa, Head of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC), NUPRC, Komolafe said the initiative is aimed at ensuring that crude oil and gas  exports have a unique identifier that confirms documentation of exports.

‘‘This implies that any cargo without the unique identifier becomes tagged as illegitimate. This, by no small measure, enhances transparency in our export operations,” he stated.

He said NUPRC had deployed key resources to the Special Investigative Unit of the Commission to forestall sharp practices by operators.

‘‘Over the next few months, we are positive that we shall record a marked increase in our national oil and gas production volumes.

“Quick-win strategies such as our aggressive drive to reactivate shut-in and declining wells will boost production prior to the onset of more long-term initiatives like operations from the new Marginal Field awardees.

“Also, the Commission is working alongside security operatives to bring a halt to the menace of crude oil theft, which has over the years contributed to a huge loss of production,” he said.

Komolafe added that the agency had begun the implementation of the Drill or Drop Provision with a review of assets which had been undeveloped by operators.

Such assets, he said, would be placed in a basket and then offered to willing and qualified investors with the capacity to explore, develop and produce the block(s) or field(s) in a timely, efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly manner.

He stated that the ongoing mini bid round for seven Deep Offshore Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPLs) would boost the nation’s reserves as well as bring about anticipated benefits to the nation and other stakeholders.

On reduction in unit cost per barrel and revenue, he explained that the Commission is committed to ensuring a significant reduction in the cost of doing business in the upstream petroleum industry.

‘‘Following an in-depth comparative analysis between the Unit Operating Cost (UOC) in Nigeria and those obtainable in other climes

“We have commenced the development of cost studies and benchmarks to ensure an improvement in the cost efficiency of our upstream petroleum operations, in accordance with Section 8 of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.

The NUPRC has also begun a review of all Crude Handling Agreements (CHA) with a view to entrenching openness and competitiveness, thereby reducing the cost of production while increasing government revenue from the sector. It is noteworthy that in the year 2022, using the strategies listed above, the Commission outperformed its revenue collection target by 18.3 per cent’’, he explained

Komolafe maintained that the Commission had stepped up efforts toward transparency in the sector and that transparency in hydrocarbon accounting was essential in ensuring maximum value derivation by the government and stakeholders. Transparency is essential to ensuring security of investments made by our financial partners, he added.

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