At the 18th International HSE Conference on the oil and gas industry in Nigeria held on 26 to 28 November 2018, the Federal Government of Nigeria (the “FGN”) (through the Department of Petroleum Resources (the “DPR”) and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources) launched the 2018 Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria (“EGASPIN 2018”). Other regulatory documents launched are the Regulatory Guidelines on Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials in the Petroleum Industry and Occupational Health Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria.
EGASPIN, which was first issued by the DPR in 1991 and subsequently revised in 2002, establishes guidelines and standards for environmental quality control of activities in the oil and gas industry, including exploration, production, terminal operations, hydrocarbon processing plants, oil and gas transportation and marketing activities. EGASPIN imposes obligations on permit, license and lease holders to conduct their operations in an ecologically friendly manner. Generally, failure to comply with the EGASPIN attracts fines; custodial sentence; revocation of the underlying permit, license or lease; obligation to pay adequate compensation and/or obligation to carry out restoration and remediation activities.
With the launch of the EGASPIN 2018, it is paramount for oil and gas companies to reevaluate their health, safety and environmental policies and practices vis-à-vis the updated guidelines to ensure compliance.
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