Gabriel Enenche —
Critical stakeholders in the oil and gas sector during an emergency meeting in Abuja came up with resolutions that will address soot and environmental pollution caused by artisanal refining activities in the Niger Delta.
Convened by Sen. Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, he called on the Federal Government to consider and approve the implementation of the report of the National Summit on Integration of Artisanal/Modular Refinery Operations into the oil refining program of the sector.
While stressing the need for various organisations that have crude oil refining technology to interact with Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulations Authority to enable them make presentations on their technology, the forum further canvassed engagements with the bodies of artisanal refining representatives in order to review the current state of affairs and proffer solutions to the environmental and economic challenges in the region.
The stakeholders also suggested that further engagements be made with governors and governments of impacted states as well as subnational structures on tackling current challenges.
The forum called for the review of the Petroleum Refining Regulations of 1974 and other relevant laws to accommodate the establishment of artisanal refineries, also, for the establishment of a data base of those trained in related fields by the Presidential Amnesty Program, Petroleum Training Institute, Warri and Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun.
Others to be included in the data base are those trained by the Petroleum Technology Development Trust Fund and Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.
The forum had representatives drawn from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs as well as Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
Others were from National Oil Spill Detection Detection and Response Agency, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.