Nigeria has more than 180 trillion cubic feet of discovered gas reserves and up to 600 trillion of undiscovered reserves
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jul. 14, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT
NIGERIA has a huge gas reserve of about 600 trillion cubic feet that is yet to be discovered. This was revealed by Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources, who also expressed her commitment to support the long-term gas supply security agenda of the European Union countries. According to the minister, her commitment was part of the federal government’s measures to expand the nation’s gas market across veritable frontiers.
According to a statement by Ohi Alegbe, group general manager, group public affairs, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the minister had emphasised that Nigeria had over 180 trillion cubic feet of discovered gas reserves and up to 600 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas reserves. He noted that a significant investment was planned to support expansion of the sector in the coming years. “While increasing domestic power generation is a priority for the government, export capacity will also rapidly grow particularly as new LNG projects are completed,” she said.
Alison-Madueke made the commitment after discussions with Günther Oettinger, EU Energy Commissioner, on the margins of the 11th EU-OPEC Energy Dialogue Ministerial Meeting in Brussels, Belgium. She said the country was primed to explore its gas potentials to the fullest. The discussions focused on the role Nigeria could play in supporting EU’s energy sector priorities, and particularly the long-term security and diversification of gas supplies.
Alison-Madueke had given a keynote address at the ministerial meeting, in her role as Alternate President of the OPEC Conference, during which she highlighted the strength of the trade and energy relations between OPEC and the EU countries. She noted that OPEC countries supplied the EU with over 30 percent of its yearly oil consumption and nearly 20 percent of its yearly gas demand. She stressed the role of OPEC in ensuring stability, transparency and predictability essential in the international oil market as the global economies recover and strengthen.
“OPEC member countries will continue to play an essential role and it is anticipated that they will provide as much as 11 million barrels per day, mbpd, out of the anticipated 18 mbpd of additional oil required to meet the expected worldwide demand growth by 2035. In order to maintain growth and investment, the minister emphasised the importance of maintaining reforms in emerging economies.”
According to Alison-Madueke, one such reform in Nigeria was the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, currently before National Assembly, which would change the face of the country’s petroleum operations and ensure that it is in line with international standards and best practices. The minister highlighted that gas production had increased to more than eight billion cubic feet per day and that Nigeria is the eighth largest gas producer in the world, and the sixth largest gas supplier to Europe.
Oettinger said that he has recognised the long-term potential of Nigeria’s energy sector and would welcome further discussions to explore ways for greater collaboration between the EU and Nigeria.