According to Nigeria’s oil minister, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the country is seeking to amend a law on deep offshore oil exploration and drilling, with the aim of increasing government revenue from crude sales when prices exceed $20 a barrel, Reuters reports.
Under the deep offshore act, there was a provision in 1993 that allowed for the government to charge oil companies a premium for the administration’s share of sales once the price of crude exceeded $20 a barrel. The Nigerian government has not enforced that provision but could now look to amend the law to enable it to do so, Kachikwu told reporters after a cabinet meeting in the capital of Abuja.
“The net effect for us is close to $2 billion extra revenue for the federation,” Kachikwu said, adding that the petroleum ministry was working with the attorney general to look at the legislation. He said that since 1993 the country had lost a total of $21 billion because government did not act. The oil minister noted it would be difficult to recoup past losses but that government would explore whether there is an opportunity to get back some of the money.