The Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, will be passed by the National Assembly by the first of week of August 2010, according to Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke.
She said at the Offshore Technology Conference, OTC which held in Houston this month, that the delay in the passage of the bill was to enable legislators address issues raised by local and foreign operators.
The reform bill seeks to amend all the existing laws in the petroleum industry but operators are arguing that any amendment of the existing fiscal requirements in deepwater would amount to “moving back goalposts in the course of a match”. International oil companies involved in the Nigerian upstream have meantime suspended further investment in the sector pending the resolution of what they deem as controversial aspects of the bill.
Though the National Assembly has conducted hearings on the bill, where objections expressed by both local and foreign operators were noted, the President is said to have directed that certain fiscal provisions of the reform bill be reviewed.