Seplat Energy Plc said it hopes the passage of the country’s long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill by lawmakers will spur investment into the country’s petroleum industry.CEO Roger Brown said that the PIB gives the visibility of what the new roles are, so they are excited. People know what the rules are and can invest more.
The bill took about two decades of deliberation, is expected to remove legal and regulatory uncertainty that’s held back the growth of the oil and gas sector once it gets signed into law by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.According to Brown, some aspects of the bill are negative to the operations of Seplat, on a balance it’s positive to the company’s operations. The governors from the nation’s southern states have demanded a review of some provisions in the legislation including the share of oil revenue that will go to host communities.
With increasing uncertainty over future oil demand and the shift to renewables globally, Seplat Energy Inc plans to focus on gas to drive future income and profitability. The company, listed in London and Lagos, changed its name last month to Seplat Energy from Seplat Petroleum to reflect a transition to a full energy solutions provider.
It plans to increase gas investments to shore up its contribution to revenue to as much as 50% by the next five years from 30% and probably overtake oil at some point, according to the chief executive. Africa’s biggest economy is trying to shift from its reliance on crude oil by encouraging investments to develop its more than 200 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves to power manufacturing and electricity industries, even as it aims for net-zero emissions in the future. It pledged to cut carbon emissions by 20% by 2030 under the Paris Climate Agreement.