…Country yet to set up credible energy transition framework
…A gas-rich nation, but energy poor
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Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
Nigeria’s proven 203 trillion standard cubic feet of gas would amount to a dormant wealth generating zero income to the country, if it is not developed and utilized to meet the nation’s needs, as well as export to recoup dollarized revenues.
The managing director of Nigeria LNG Ltd (NLNG), Tony Attah, said, Nigeria must be utilized urgently the vast gas deposits to meet the nation’s growing energy needs, at a time the world is going into energy transitions.
Attah, speaking at the pre-summit conference of the 2021 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) organized by the federal ministry of petroleum resources and sponsored by the gas company, said, it was necessary to act now on gas through deliberate policies such as the “Decade of Gas” policy.
He added that the country must not continue to be gas-rich and energy-poor where our gas processing and LNG capacity do not match the volume of our gas reserves.
“Gas would drive the energy transition of the current and next decade. The time for Nigeria to become a top gas nation is now, when 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 9 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%. Essentially the world needs more energy; but needs it cleaner and cheaper to manage climate change and the two degrees Celsius challenge through decarbonisation,” Attah said.
He said globally, 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.
“Gas is set to be the fastest growing transition fuel of the future. This is a great opportunity for Nigeria. Nigeria is blessed with plenty gas reserves – 200TCF of proven reserves and an additional 600TCF scope to be proven by SEC rules. Proving the 600TCF will move us to number four in the world from the current 9th position, which I believe should be a key objective for this decade of gas agenda. Essentially, Nigeria is a gas nation as we have more gas than oil on a BoE basis. Nigeria currently 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 LNG through the operations of NLNG,” Attah said.
He said the Train 7 project alone will attract about $10 billion into the country with significant revenue generation for government and the shareholders, as well as over 12,000 jobs opportunity for Nigerians.
“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.
He said, gas is everything for Nigeria. It must use what it has to get what it wants.
The NLNG boss informed that Saudi Arabia and Dubai used oil to move their economies to becoming one of the best in the world. Qatar has used gas to transform from a fishing economy to becoming a global gas giant. Nigeria has both oil and gas, he added.
However, Nigeria has thus far ridden on the back of oil for more than half-a-century. For 30 years, the country has spent some $340 million oil search and an additional N27 billion in seismic expedition in the its North-East region, which has yet to yield any fruit.
Gas value-chain experts adduce that it was time Nigeria flew on the wings of gas. They are urging the oil-& gas-rich country to maximise its “Decade of Gas” framework 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.
For more than a decade, the country’s boldest effort at gas development is the ongoing $7 billion LNG Train 7.
However, Attah said the NLNG was ready to partner with 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.