The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has projected that over $25 billion investments would be attracted to the nation’s gas sector just as gas flare rate would be cut to the barest minimum within the next few years.
The corporation’s Group Managing Director Corporation, Maikanti Baru, made these projections at the ongoing 50th Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, United States.
He disclosed that appropriate policy measures had been put in place by the corporation to ensure that Nigeria’s oil and gas sector becomes more investment-friendly and that the volume of gas flare is reduced considerably.
A statement issued by NNPC’s spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, quoted the Group Managing Director (GMD) as making the disclosures in different panel sessions of the Conference, adding that gas flaring in Nigeria has reduced significantly from 25 per cent to 10 per cent in the last decade.
Baru, who made the disclosures in different panel sessions of the Conference told the global audience that huge opportunities abound in nation’s gas sector, adding that within the next decade over $25 billion investments will be attracted to the sector.
While noting that Nigeria’s petroleum industry remains the most promising in terms of investment in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a lot of potential in the deep water oil and untapped gas resources, the oil industry expert pointed out that the sector offered opportunities for investors in exploration, refining, storage, transportation, power, distribution and marketing of petroleum products, amongst others.
The NNPC chief who spoke on the theme, ‘Nigeria’s Gas Flare Commercialisation, Prospects and Opportunities’, disclosed that in the past 10 yeras, the nation’s gas flaring rate had reduced significantly, adding that with the multi-pronged approach adopted by the corporation to tackle the problem of gas flaring, is achieving the desired results.
According to him, the three-point strategy to reduce gas flaring are, ensuring the non-submission of Field Development Plans to the Department of Petroleum Resources without a viable and executable gas utilisation plan; reduction of existing flares through a combination of targeted policy interventions in the Gas Master Plan, and the re-invigoration of the flare penalty through the 2016 Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme and through appropriate legislation.
The GMD expressed the hope that the implementation of the strategy would not only see Nigeria dropping from being the second highest gas flaring oil-producing country globally to seventh, but would also be a remarkable mileage in the country’s gas commercialisation prospects.
Baru said: “Total flares have significantly reduced to current levels of about 800mmscfd, and in the next one to two years, we would have completely ensured zero routine flares from all the gas producers.
“Today, we have completed and inaugurated almost 600 kilometres of new gas pipelines, thereby connecting all existing power plants to permanent gas supply pipelines. We are also currently completing the construction of the strategic 127-kilometre Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben gas pipeline, ‘OB 3’, connecting the eastern supply to the western demand centres”, he added
On other various initiatives being undertaken by the corporation, the oil expert hinted that apart from looping the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System 2 gas pipeline projects to increase gas volume capacity to at least 2scf/day, the state-owned oil company recently signed the contract for the 614-kilometre Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline project.
He projected that when completed, the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline project would deliver gas to the ongoing power plants in the area and also supply gas to the manufacturing industries in the Northern geo-politican zone of the country.