By BEN AGANDE
ABUJA—President Goodluck Jonathan has promised to liaise with the National Assembly to expedite action on passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, in order to ensure transparency in the oil and gas sector.
The President, who stated this while commissioning the N5 billion Usan Deepwater oil facility in Rivers State, noted that his administration was committed to creating a conducive environment for investment in the country.
He said the successful completion of the project was a testimony to the fact that there was conducive environment for business in the country which should be a favoured destination for investment.
He said the project would have a direct positive impact on the economy, besides other multiplier effects of employment creation and critical skills transfer, in line with government’s reform aimed at expanding crude oil reserve base and the country’s production capacity.
He said: ”I also would like to assure the industry that our administration is making concerted efforts with the legislature to ensure the speedy passage into law of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
“The PIB will enhance transparency, accountability and effective governance of the Nigerian petroleum industry for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
The President called on other local and foreign investors to emulate Total and its partners by investing in Nigeria across the hydrocarbon value chain.
“We will continue to encourage all who have keyed into government’s policy of promoting local content in their operations,” the President emphasized.
The Usan project is a major deepwater development with over 500 million barrels of oil in place.
The facility which took about three years to complete commenced operation in February and at full capacity it is expected to produce 180,000 barrels crude oil per day.
It is a joint venture between Total Oil, her partners-Chevron, Esso, Nexem and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
It is the second deep water field that Total Oil has put on stream in Nigeria after Akpo which started in 2009.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke, noted that Usan was the 5th of its type that had come on stream to help meet the country’s target of 4 million barrels per day.
She disclosed that the multi-billion naira project, which has 30% local content, would help the country achieve zero gas flaring objective as it does not flare gas.