Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Nigeria becomes world’s seventh biggest gas haven

world’s seventh biggest gas

Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Modecai Ladan, who revealed this at the Annual General Meeting said Nigeria’s gas reserves have increased from 186 trillion standard cubic feet (scuf) to a record high of 190 trillion scuf.
(AGM) of the Nigeria Gas Association (NGA) in Lagos yesterday, maintained that the country has now emerged the seventh biggest in the world in terms of gas re-serves.

Ladan, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Domestic Gas, DPR, Mrs. Chioma Njoku, stated that updated statistics on the new national gas reserves indicated that the country now has 190 trillion deposit of natural gas and makes it the seventh in the world and the largest in Africa.

He assured stakeholders that Nigeria has the potential to become a global super power in Africa because the country ranks third in gas production after Algeria and Egypt, despite being the largest in terms of gas reserves. Nigeria, he added, could broaden its economy using gas.

“It is a critical strategic consideration that must be embraced. We need to design framework that will focus on gas exploration with full support of industry stakeholders,” he said. Coincidentally, most gas discoveries and the reserves were accidentally discovered during crude oil exploration and stakeholders have been calling on the Federal Government to institute marginal bid rounds for gas exploration.

Corroborating Ladan’s view, President of NGA, Mr. Bolaji Osunsanya, stated that: “Nigeria has experienced a transformational shift in the perceived role of natural gas from an energy source sometimes seen as unreliable and scarce over a decade ago to one that is now recognised as an essential component of a cleaner and more secure resource-based portfolio.

“Decline in crude oil prices has coincided with a welcome surge in the use of natural gas for domestic and industrial use in developed and developing countries. We are aware that Nigeria’s aspirations for the power sector, particularly the significant amplification of the country’s power generation capacity, would be largely based on the use of supply and delivery of natural gas.

“However, despite the abundance of natural gas, Nigeria’s gas-fired plants continue to operate below their installed capacity, crippled by the unavailability of gas due to persistent pipeline sabotage. “This means we have to innovatively create a fuel diversification strategy, which will enable about 1000MW of power generation to be supported by using the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). This process will require the liquefaction of about 240 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

This large volume of gas can be compressed to about 0.4 million cubic feet of LNG per day.” He, however, urged the government and operators alike to understand that the first step to take is the creation of a legal and regulatory framework, which will eradicate persistent obstacles, which have burdened the progress of the sector.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has declared readiness to probe the scarcity of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas allegedly buoyed by the shoddy deals in the supply of the product.

Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Alhaji Ahmed Farouk, who disclosed this in Lagos yesterday, expressed shock at the discovery that the scarcity was caused by logistic challenges faced by LPGladen vessels, which prevented them from berthing at the PPMC jetty. PPMC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is in charge of the three major jetties in Lagos, where the product is being discharged.

The issue of PPMC officials involved in diverting LPG vessels to private jetties, Farouk said during the official commissioning of Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, NALPGAM building and Resource Centre in Lagos, will be looked into.

Fielding questions from journalists, PPMC’s Executive Director, Supply and Distribution, Mr. Justine Ezeala, who represented Farouk, said that the issue of PPMC officials colluding to divert LPG vessels to private jetties is new to him, noting that steps will be taken to address the situation. “I am hearing this for the first time.

I have been Executive Director for nine months and I am hearing this for the first time, but I am not holding brief for anyone, but if this is substantiated, we will take steps. “If you have any evidence, please bring it to my notice, no one in their right minds will take that step to frustrate efforts of bringing LPG closer to the people. I will look into it,” Farouk said.