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Exploring Nigeria’s Gas Resources


GAS-CopyBeyond oil, Nigeria has the 9th largest gas reserves in the world. Exploiting this resource could prove an important element in the economic reform programme of the Buhari government.

There has been limited gas distribution in the downstream between Lagos metropolis. There is the West African gas pipeline that takes gas into West Africa with not enough gas and a few pipelines in the Country feeding power plants but in most cases, there’s not enough gas said Emeka Ene, Chairman of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, (PETAN) to SNBC Africa at the on-going NAICE 2015 organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Nigeria Council.

“We have a budding infrastructure in the South East, one of the new independents and that probably is a kind of light in the horizon for new gas development. Domestic gas is really lagging and is actually a big impediment to the development of the power industry.”

Speaking to CNBC Africa on the Strategy going forward, Emeka Ene said, ‘’we need to make it a market. Gas infrastructure is not connected, so gas pipelines are not open nor have open access so a gas network code is needed to allow someone to put in gas into the pipeline in the south east and take out gas to a customer in Lagos. We need to unlock the market. Secondly, make it attractive to invest in gas, I should be able to bring a project that needs gas and match it in. We also need to leverage the availability of gas flare between 5 and 10 million external cubic feet of gas to ensure that gas is readily available in the country. We need to minimise the need to construct pipelines and that way, we see how to create the gas market even in modular forms that increasingly get connected together.’’

On government incentives for the private and public sector, He said; Brazil has 170-190mmillion people, Nigeria has about 170 million, Brazil produces 2million oil barrels a day, Nigeria produces 2.4 million, the difference here is; Nigeria produces only 5% of the electricity that Brazil produces. There is a huge potential offside. To a large extent, there is really no reason a domestic gas market should not take off. We have opportunities in pipelines, in infrastructure for gas plants, in terms of being able to transport gas to markets and gas for power.

For the investor, it is to find a matching investment in Nigeria and we have a lot of independents that have started to emerge. Independents involved in the gas business are the best investment potentials to kick off, they have an access to gas, what they lack is the capital and there is a market and connecting them to that market is a skill in developing that market.

Ene concluded by saying, “One big challenge impeding the growth of gas in Nigeria is transparency and much more important is leadership.”

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