The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has issued a directive on the delineation of regulatory oversight between the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in relation to the regulation of terminal operations and the export of crude oil pursuant to sections 7(ee) and 32 of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) pending the amendment of the PIA.

31 July 23

The directive, which is contained in a letter dated 26 June 2023, provides much-needed clarity on the operational friction between NUPRC and NMDPRA.

Highlight of the Directives

  • NUPRC shall be the exclusive technical and commercial regulator in respect of upstream petroleum operations and facilities. This responsibility encompasses licensing, administration, monitoring of petroleum facilities that are operationally linked from extraction to and including crude export terminals and the delivery points of natural gas processing plants.
  • NMDPRA shall be the exclusive technical and commercial regulator in respect of petroleum operations and facilities from exit of the crude export terminals and the entry gate of the natural gas processing plant.
  • Integrated upstream and midstream petroleum operations will be considered upstream petroleum operations and as such under the sole regulatory purview of the NUPRC. NUPRC shall have the powers to designate a facility as an integrated facility pursuant to clear guidelines and criteria to be established by NUPRC to ascertain the integration status of facilities and ensure consistent application of these criteria.
  • NUPRC and NMDPRA must ensure that there is no duplication of regulatory responsibilities across any activity in the petroleum industry and must refrain from overlapping regulatory functions in relation to activities leading up to and including export terminal operations. It is expected that both regulators will hold regular consultations with the Special Adviser to the President on Energy and other stakeholders to ensure a seamless operation pending an amendment of the PIA.

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Should you have any questions regarding this legal alert do not hesitate to contact Reginald Udom or Oghogho Makinde.