ExxonMobil boss identifies unique opportunities of gas to Nigerian economy
For Nigeria, gas provides a unique opportunity to provide steady, widely available, cost-effective and generally affordable power to everyone, according to Paul Mcgratt, the managing director of ExxonMobil
He said a shift to gas-fuelled power generation would represent significant savings opportunities over sources such as diesel which is multiple times more expensive than gas at the current price of USD 2.5 /mmbtu. “This saving can then be redeployed by power consumers (individuals and businesses) to other goods and services and to new investments”.
Additional opportunity, he said, exists in leveraging gas to develop industries that use gas as feedstock, to produce methanol and ammonia used in fertilizer production.
The ExxonMobil boss who spoke on what Nigeria’s gas can do for the economy at the Nigeria Gas Association NGA annual general meeting in Lagos said Trinidad and Tobago is a good example of a country that has accomplished much with its gas resources. With a small population of 1.4 million and only 11 TCF of proven gas reserves, the country has developed a globally competitive petrochemicals industry, he said.
“Today, Trinidad and Tobago is the world’s largest exporter of ammonia and second-largest exporter of methanol leading to this industry contributing significantly to the country’s GDP. Nigeria, with significantly larger gas reserves, has the potential to achieve even bigger success.”
The Nigerian agricultural sector, the largest GDP contributor to our economy, he explained, would benefit immensely from greater availability of fertilizer. Considering the low nitrate concentration in our soil and gas being the key feedstock for nitrate-based fertilizer, developing the gas industry could contribute to enhancing food security.
Further benefits for Nigeria from gas development would be for the Nigeria LNG (NLNG) to maintain 70-80 thousand jobs in the economy and contributes ~USD 1.3 billion each year in revenue to the Federal Government, providing much needed revenue for the government to deploy for the benefit of Nigeria, such as development of infrastructure and diversifying the economy.
Other areas where gas can benefit the economy include alternative fuel for transportation, residential and commercial utilization.