BusinessDay

Nigeria’s gas potential draws interest at global conference

The Nigerian pavilion drew widespread attention at the ongoing World Gas Conference in the Republic of Korea.

It was featured on some local news television stations, a development that mirrors the growing interest in the country’s gas potential.

Several eager visitors were seen trooping to the colourful Nigerian pavillion branded by the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) which Modion Communications, a local agency, helped organise and manage, for most of Tuesday, making different inquiries and obtaining literature on the country’s energy sector.

To tell the Nigerian gas story to a global audience, the NGA partnered with a host of energy companies and government agencies, including the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, the Nigeria LNG, and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

Others are Oilserv, Seplat Energy Plc, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Gas Plus Synergy Limited, Nipco Gas Limited, and Seina Marine Ltd.

Other companies include Neconde Energy Ltd, Shoreline Natural Resources Ltd/Heritage, Tetracore Ltd, Northridge Engineering Ltd, Axxela Group, Thompson & Grace Investment Ltd, Falcon Corporation Ltd, and Desicon Engineering Ltd.

According to Mele Kyari, group managing director of NNPC, Africa’s top oil producer also has the world’s seventh-largest gas reserves and there is a real opportunity to leverage gas to develop in the country.

During a plenary session at the conference on Tuesday, Mele Kyari called for more investments to develop gas, taking advantage of the window of opportunity now open as the world moves to commit to net-zero targets.

“The world has accepted that gas is a cleaner fuel, and it is the most pressing and acceptable transition fuel that we have. The opportunities are there, the technology is there and the more investments we can secure, the easier it would be to curtail those issues around energy poverty seen across the globe,” said Kyari.

According to the NNPC boss, while climate change presents a challenge, there is a need to achieve the critical balance between protecting the climate and achieving energy security.

He said: “We do have a challenge occasioned by the energy transition; we all agree that climate change is real and it does have a disproportionate impact across the globe.

“However, there is huge energy poverty in many parts of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, and that gap cannot be filled by the current level of investments in the renewable energy sector.

“It is obvious that our gas business presents real opportunities. The immediate future is very bright but as we transit to net-zero by 2050, we are not seeing the end of gas in 15 years, which means that there is room for growth, room for intervention, and opportunities for companies.”

Read also: Europe eyes African gas production, to hit 470bcm by 2030

Last year, Nigeria ramped up its natural gas reserves from 202 trillion cubic feet (TCF) to 206.53 TCF, months after it declared an initiative called ‘Decade of Gas’.

Of this figure, associated gas, which is discovered while drilling for oil, stands at 100.73 TCF while non-associated gas reserves now stand at 105.80 TCF, indicating the increasing role field operators are playing in developing the reserves.

The participation of independents in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry has been growing, even as international oil companies retreat due to a difficult operating environment marked by insecurity and endless agitations by communities where oil is explored.

However, indigenous producers have proven to be better at managing community agitations and navigating the challenges of limited funding by collaborating and sharing resources.

Now, they are making a difference. For example, Shoreline Natural Resources Ltd, an independent producer alone, contributed 2.5 TCF of this proven gas reserve.

Nigeria’s renewed focus on gas is seen in new gas pipeline projects like the AKK pipelines and the recent marginal field bid round, which clearly had gas fields as its key objective.

The government has now set a new target to attain a reserve position of 220 TCF by 2030.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.