Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector express confidence in the economic prospects of the gas master plan if properly implemented
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jun. 24, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
THE need to ensure the implementation of the gas master plan took centre stage at the Nigeria Oil and Gas Technology and Nigeria Oil and Gas Logistics, exhibition held in Lagos, on June from 4 to 6. Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector expressed confidence that the gas master plan would enable the sector to contribute its quota in uplifting the standard of living of Nigerians, promote the petrochemical industry and the production of fertiliser.
David Ige, executive director, gas and power, at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said the gas master plan would reduce gas flaring in the next two years. Ige, who was represented by Sam Ndukwe, general manager, gas pipelines and infrastructure, NNPC, said the gas master plan would provide a network for bringing gas to the doorsteps of various states, adding that economic growth would depend on its utilisation.
He explained that the country had more than 185 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves and more than 600 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas. This places the country among the world’s top four in terms of gas production, a situation that has placed us in a favourable position in the global world map. He, however, said that in spite of the huge potential, the gas sector had under-performed, with so much gas being flared.
“The government is poised to reduce gas flaring drastically in the next two years. Nigeria is the holder of the world’s seventh and Africa’s largest gas reserves of more than 187 trillion cubic feet. The country flares most of the gas it produces along with oil because it lacks the infrastructure to process it,” he said.
Ige said that the nation’s gas master plan was predicated on an anticipated aggressive demand increase of up to 25 percent. “Domestic projects such as methanol plants, gas-to-liquids plants, fertiliser plants, independent power projects and other LNG export plants like Brass LNG are also expected to stimulate demand. Nigeria produces 7.8 billion cubic feet of gas per day, out of which it utilises only 4.5 billion. Government is looking at having three gas transmission pipeline systems. The focus on gas is also going to help in solving the power supply problems nationwide as gas shortages in the power stations would be a thing of the past,” he said.
According to him, the gas master plan and the pipelines that would carry gas to different parts of the country are expected to stimulate economic activities around the pipeline routes. He said that gas-related industries would also spring up and generate jobs for Nigerians. “We have also made a major progress in the implementation of the Nigerian Gas Master-Plan. This plan provides a holistic framework for utilising natural gas that is produced alongside the oil. We have put in place a robust commercial framework for gas production and delivery to the market and made significant gains in making gas available to the power sector and the manufacturing industries. We have now finally created a fully integrated oil and gas industry in Nigeria and entrenched the legal framework that allows a significant spending of the industry to be domiciled in Nigeria.”
On his part, Layi Fatona, managing director, Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, said that the gas master plan would address the issues confronting gas flaring in the country. But he regretted the number of indigenous companies who are active players in the oil and gas industry. He called on the relevant government agency to create an enabling environment to accommodate more indigenous companies in the sector. “Over the years, the challenges facing indigenous companies have deepened beyond funding alone. The operational challenge has made some to close operations. The number of indigenous companies who are actually active players is an embarrassment to Nigeria,” he said.