THE Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has stated that Nigeria lost about $21 billion (N7.6 trillion) to International Oil Companies, IOCs, operating in the country due to non-implementation of the Production Sharing Contract, PSC, Act of 1993, otherwise known as the Deep Shore Act.Briefing State House correspondents after the FEC meeting, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources stated: “Once the price of crude oil exceeds $20 per barrel, the government will take steps to ensure that the premium element is then distributed at an agreed premium level for the nation so that we get more from our oil.
“But over the last 20 years, nothing really was done. From 1993 till now cumulatively, we have lost $21 billion because government did not act, we did not exercise it. In 2013, there was a notice to oil companies that we are going to do this but we didn’t go through in terms of going to Council to get approval.
“So, one of the things we have done in the last one year is that we have worked very hard to get that amendment because once we do, the net effect for us is close to $2 billion extra revenue for the Federation.”
On whether the problem could be immediately tackled or the monies recovered, Kachikwu said: “I doubt it for the simple reason that the provisions of the Joint Operating Agreement, JOA, on Section 15 is that government would need to do something, which is what we have just done today.
“If it is not done, then the oil companies are operating within the realms of what the law is. So that’s going to be difficult. But I love not to talk too much about that because I will be giving out what my strategies would be on national TV. “Let me just say that however we do it, we would definitely try to see whether a possibility exists for some claw back advantages.”