(Reuters) - Nigeria's government task force will finalize a draft of the long-delayed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) this week before sending it to the oil minister and the national assembly for debate, industry sources told Reuters.
The ambitious PIB has been years in the making and several other versions have been debated by parliament. In January, President Goodluck Jonathan ordered that a task force put together a definitive draft to speed up the process.
Here is some of what a draft copy of the 207-page bill, obtained by Reuters, said:
* Enhance exploration of petroleum resources in Nigeria
* Establish a progressive fiscal framework that encourages further investment in the petroleum industry while optimizing accruable revenues to the government
* Establish a commercially oriented and profit-driven National Oil Company
* Deregulate and liberalize the downstream petroleum sector
* Create an incorporated National Oil Company (NOC)
* The oil minister within three months of the bill passing will create the NOC, which will hold certain assets and liabilities of the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC)
* The initial shares of the NOC will be held by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated and the Bureau of Public Enterprises on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria
* Within three years from the date of incorporation, the NOC will divest a yet unspecified amount of shares to the public
* NOC will not hold NNPC assets in unincorporated joint ventures and production sharing contracts, which together make up the majority of Nigeria's large oil and gas assets. The government may later divest these assets to the NOC
* Oil companies will pay tax on a percentage of the chargeable profits as follows:
50 pct for onshore and shallow water areas
20 pct for frontier acreage and deep water areas
* The Petroleum Minister will co-ordinate the activities and supervise all the institutions of the industry
* Any person or company who fails to comply with an order made by or on behalf of the minister or who obstructs or interferes with the minister or their servants or agents is liable to a fine or imprisonment
* The new Nigerian Petroleum Inspectorate combines Nigeria's various regulatory bodies for upstream and downstream into one, and gives the oil minister power to pick who runs it.
* The National Oil Company
* The Nigeria Petroleum Assets Management Company
* The National Petroleum Directorate
* The Nigerian Petroleum Inspectorate
* The National Frontier Exploration Service
Reporting by Joe Brock and Tim Cocks; Editing by Maureen Bavdek