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FG’s gas initiative has improved corporate governance – Rone, UTM Offshore boss

By Guardian Nigeria
13 November 2022   |   7:50 am
Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UTM Offshore Limited, Mr. Julius Rone, has said the Federal Government's initiative to maximize gas and make energy poverty history, has improved corporate governance and removed bureaucratic obstacles. Delivering a keynote address at the African Energy Chamber’s 2022 African Energy Week, AEW, Conference and Exhibition in South…

Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UTM Offshore Limited, Mr. Julius Rone, has said the Federal Government’s initiative to maximize gas and make energy poverty history, has improved corporate governance and removed bureaucratic obstacles.

Delivering a keynote address at the African Energy Chamber’s 2022 African Energy Week, AEW, Conference and Exhibition in South Africa, themed: “A Simple Molecule and Shared Vision For Africans To Win The Clean Energy Race In The 21st Century,” he said Nigeria’s natural gas resources could provide energy for the world while enabling Nigeria to fund its way through the global energy transition.

His words: “Currently, Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer. Oil contributes about half of the government’s revenue and most of its foreign exchange receipts. Thus, Nigeria is extremely inclined to the global transition to cleaner fuels.”

“Except for this: Nigeria also holds the continent’s largest natural gas reserves and is the world’s six-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, or LNG. The potential is enormous. And to make the most of it, President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has instituted enabling policy frameworks to foster natural gas production — not only for export but also for domestic use, including vital gas-to-power programs.”

“In the first quarter of this year, Nigeria’s gas revenue outpaced its earnings from crude oil. The expansion of the Nigeria LNG facility on Bonny Island, which is expected to be completed in 2024, is likely to amplify this trend.”

“Still other challenges remain, including declining investments from the West, funding constraints along the value chain, and pipeline sabotage by hostile or poorly managed host communities.”

He added that flaring is a problem in Nigeria because its oil fields lack the infrastructure to capture the natural gas produced with oil.

He said: “Unfortunately, the lack of pipeline infrastructure is a crucial reason why Nigeria’s gas reserves have been untapped for so long. Nigeria is hoping to reverse this problem with the Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano Natural Gas Pipeline, which is expected to eventually connect the country’s gas supply to other planned trans-regional and intercontinental pipelines, such as the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline.”

“This should open up access to Europe and also help Nigeria meet its growing electricity needs in a cleaner, more sustainable manner. This scarcity of infrastructure and the growing divestment by the international oil companies in Nigeria’s energy sector inspired my firm, UTM Offshore Limited, and our partners to conceptualize Nigeria’s first Floating Liquefied Natural Gas, or FLNG, project and the first indigenous company in Africa to venture into such a project of such magnitude. FLNG is the most needed noble technology required to monetize the offshore stranded gas in Africa.”

“If Africa can continue to offer political stability and attractive returns to investors and can provide security for our offshore oil and gas facilities and shipping, we will become Europe’s most reliable supplier of natural gas.”