Harnessing gas for growth

Experts at the pre-conference of the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), organised by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and sponsored by Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), are convinced that gas is set to be the fastest-growing transition fuel of the future.

With the country’s gas reserves estimated to be 200 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of proved reserve and an additional 600TCF scope to be proven by SEC rules, eggheads at the summit were convinced that a huge opportunity beckons on Nigeria – a country blessed with plenty of the reserves, to tap into the gains it offers if the natural resource is properly harnessed.

While the country sits as the ninth highest producer of this product, it is further believed that proving the 600TCF will catapult it to number four globally. This target, experts say, should be a key objective for the decade of gas agenda.

Currently, the country plays a significant role in the global energy sector, holding the position of the largest oil and gas producer in Africa and the sixth supplier of global Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), through the operations of NLNG.

The experts are convinced that from the NLNG Train 7 project alone, about $10 billion will be attracted to the country, with significant revenue generation for the government and other shareholders, including creating over 12,000 jobs for Nigerians.

Making his presentation at the summit, NLNG Managing Director, Tony Attah, an engineer, reiterated that gas was everything in Nigeria; hence, the need for the country to use what it has to get want it wants. For instance, he recalled that Saudi Arabia and Dubai used oil to move their economies to becoming among the best in the world; while Qatar has used gas to transform from a fishing economy to becoming a global gas giant.In the case of Nigeria, Attah said although the country was blessed with both oil and gas, it has thus far ridden on the back of oil for over 50 years.

He, therefore, said the time had come for Nigeria to fly on the wings of gas, which is why at the NLNG, the belief is: “It is time for GAS.”

”Essentially, Nigeria is a gas nation as we have more gas than oil on a BoE basis. This is a decade of gas, another decade of sustained operations in NLNG, a decade of Train 7 and perhaps Trains 8,9 and 10; a decade of elimination of gas flaring, a decade of more Domestic LPG in households in Nigeria; and overall, a decade of fully gas-powered economy,” he said.

Attah added that NLNG was ready to partner the government in making the Decade of Gas a reality as the company continues to actualise its vision as a global LNG company, helping to build a better Nigeria.

He called for deliberate policies on the Decade of Gas, by focusing on developing and legislating the right regulations, policies, and laws that will engender the right environment for the much-needed investment in all the streams of the sector. The  country must not continue to be gas-rich and energy-poor, especially in a situation where its gas processing and LNG capacity do not match the volume of our gas reserves. Currently, gas is playing a pivotal role in bridging traditional energy sources and renewables.

”Our world is changing. We are set to add two billion more people by 2040 to become nine billion people on earth. On the back of this and anticipated growth in human prosperity, energy demand is expected to grow by more than 30 percent. Essentially, this means that the world needs more energy; but needs it cleaner and cheaper to manage climate change and the 20C challenge through decarbonisation. Energy transition has begun, resulting in massive change in the global energy mix while renewable sources are gaining prominence to replace coal and other forms of fossil fuels,” Attah said, warning that the gas reserve would be wasted if it was not developed and utilised to meet the nation’s energy needs.

In similar vein, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, contended that natural gas, and by extension blue hydrogen, would be heavily depended upon as transition fuels to play a key role in the clean energy drive and would provide significant proportion of the global energy mix as well as guarantee feedstock to gas-based industries.

“Nigeria has committed huge resources to ensure that domestic gas infrastructure reach every corner of our country to deepen natural gas utilisation, spur investment in power and gas-based industries, grow the economy and generate employment for millions of our young people,” Kyari said.Nigeria as a gas nation with over 203trillion standard cubic feet (tscf) of proven gas reserves, according to the NNPC helmsman, is monetising the huge gas resources spurred by numerous policy and industry interventions since 2016, culminating in the declaration of 2020 as the year of gas and progressing into the decade of gas from 2021. Kyari stated that NNPC and its partners have embarked on many strategic projects to deepen delivery of gas to the domestic market and elevate the build-up of greater potential for export.

“The completion of the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System Phase 2 (ELPS II), commissioning of the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Lot 2, the NPDC Oredo Gas Handling Facility, and the SEEPCO Gas Processing Plant can be easily cited, even without mentioning ongoing strategic backbone gas infrastructure projects such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline, the OB3 final hook-up, the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline and several other gas-based industries initiatives.  All these will herald the sunrise of gas revolution in our country within the decade,” the GMD stated.The Decade of Gas Pre-summit Conference had ass its theme: “Towards gas-Powered economy by 2030.”

Source: The Nation

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