Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producing nation, has revealed plans to implement the Petroleum Industry Bill, with a scope to provide long-term investment opportunities for the country. The bill, brought forward in December 2008, has undergone many revisions since its inception, and aims to establish an advanced fiscal framework to encourage international investment in the petroleum industry, while raising tax revenue for the Nigerian government.

The current proposed bill has the potential to reduce oil output by up to 500,000 barrels of oil a day, yet its aim is to use higher taxation to increase the government’s share of industry revenue from 61 percent, to at least 73 percent. The government’s hope, voiced by Diezani K. Alison-Madueke, Minister for Transportation in Nigeria, is that this bill can help increase international investment by ensuring transparency and accountability, which will provide investors with a more reliable long-term perspective on investment prospects.

Offshore engineering and solutions company Aquaterra Energy has an active presence in the region and Patrick Phelan, the company’s Managing Director said: “We are keen to see how this new bill will affect the oil and gas industry in Africa’s biggest oil producing nation.  Our teams are already involved with a variety of projects off the coast of West Africa and, in particular, have been successful in the design, fabrication and installation of minimum facilities conductor supported platforms in the South Atlantic Ocean.  Our strategic plan is to continue to strengthen our presence in the region and to capitalise on growing opportunities – the latest predictions are that sub-Saharan African countries could produce an additional 400,000 barrels of oil per day by 2018.”