Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resource lists factors hindering effective operations

The DPR has identified multiplicity of regulatory agencies for the same industry, inadequate funding and facilities to support effective monitoring, as some of the challenges facing the organisation.
DPR’s Director of Petroleum Resource, Mr. Andrew Obaje said in spite of these challenges, the department will continue to serve as the watchdog for the development of the Nigeria’s oil and gas resources by employing modern tools and techniques to direct, influence and achieve the optimum exploitation, conservation and utilization of petroleum and its derivatives for the maximum benefit to Nigerians while ensuring minimal damage to the environment.

Obaje disclosed this at a media briefing to asquint the media on the 14th Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) International Biennial Conference on the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria with the theme: “Managing Health Challenges in the Oil and Gas Industry” scheduled for November 1st to 3rd, 2010 in Abuja.
He explained that the primary objective of the conference was to create awareness in environmental protection and control and promote sustainable development in the petroleum industry.

“The DPR recognized early in mid 1970s that we ought to manage and develop our hydrocarbon resources in a sustainable manner in order to reduce to the barest minimum, any oil activity – related degradation of the environment”, he said.

He added that the department would continue to bring about a total commitment by all stakeholders to the set agenda, which will guarantee a clean and sustainable environment for all at all times.
He stated: “We are aware that this places enormous responsibility on the Department to ensure that all oil and gas activities are carried out in accordance with established sustainable development practices which places side by side the economic objectives, sociological and good environmental practices.

“The regulatory regimes on environmental management have evolved from a period of indiscriminate environmental pollution through the period of controlled pollution and now zero tolerance. There have been aggressive and evolving environmental control mechanisms to eliminate, reduce and mitigate the consequences of environmental degradation”.

He disclosed that appropriate agenda were being set, based on the available Petroleum Acts, Regulations and Guidelines and Standards and in collaboration with international and other Government Agencies that have similar responsibilities, that will focus on sound success leading to management of issues such as new technological solutions environmental audits, and clean-up/remediation of past polluted sites.