A copy of the 200-page Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) obtained byReuters includes plans to partly privatize and list the state oilfirm, tax oil company profits at 20 percent for deep offshore and50 percent for shallow or onshore, and give the oil ministersupervisory powers over all institutions in the industry. Current oil firm profit taxes are not published. A spokesman forNigeria’s leading operator Shell said he did not know what currenttax rates were. The PIB has been years in the making and the delays have causeduncertainty over the future framework of working in Nigeria,costing the industry billions of dollars of potential investmentand the government much-needed revenues. Without it, most analysts expect oil production in Nigeria todecline substantially over the next few years. Fiberglass Water Slides
Nigeria exports more than 2 million barrels a day (bpd) of crudeoil popular with U.S. buyers because it is light and easy torefine. China and India are also growing takers of Nigerian crude. Even when this version gets to parliament, there is no guaranteelawmakers will push it through, as powerful vested interests couldblock or delay it, as has happened in the past. President Goodluck Jonathan is explicitly behind this version, andit was drawn up by a taskforce of senators his administrationappointed, but even though his party has a majority in both housesof parliament it could still stall. Spray Park Equipment
The bill as drafted would also roll Nigeria’s various regulatorybodies for upstream and downstream into one, and give Oil MinisterDiezani Alison-Madueke power to pick who runs it. Placing all institutions concerned with oil under her supervisionmay upset those who hoped the bill would curb her alreadysubstantial powers. Previously the downstream regulator wasindependent of the ministry. Alison-Madueke signed a 20-year oil license in February with U.S.oil giant Exxon on one of Nigeria’s largest oil assets, whichproduces over 500,000 barrels per day, but the terms were keptprivate. Fiberglass Water Slides
This license renewal comes despite the minister saying for yearsthat the delay to the PIB was holding contracts like these up.Alison-Madueke said this week that similar renewals with Shell andChevron would be signed by June. It is not clear whether those licenses include exemptions from anychange of terms brought about by the new PIB. (Reporting by Joe Brock and Tim Cocks, editing by William Hardy).