Stakeholders in the gas sub-sector estimate that an aggressive gas development in Nigeria is expected to save the Federal Government $5 billion yearly.
Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Austin Avuru, while speaking at the yearly general meeting of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), said that the development of the sector will lead to domestic energy security.
Avuru disclosed that about 6.5 GW, representing 67 per cent of gas-fired power capacity is in western delta and reliant on ELPS for feedstock, saying that 45 per cent of feedstock is associated gas, transported mainly via Trans-Forcados.
Figures from the Department of Petroleum Recourses (DPR) show that Nigeria’s gas reserves have increased from 186 trillion standard cubic feet (scuf) to 190 trillion Standard Cubic Feet (scuf).
Updated statistics on the new national gas reserves indicated that the country now has 190 trillion deposit of natural gas and makes it the seventh in the world and the largest in Africa.
Flare penalty of N10/Mscf has proved ineffective in dissuading gas flaring – Nigeria ranks second in flare volumes, accounting for 10 per cent of total global flares in 2011 following Russia.
Power sector reforms, licensing of more IPPs, and GMP have resulted in increased potential demand for domestic gas.
Speaking yesterday at the yearly general meeting of NGA in Lagos on Wednesday, the DPR Director, Modecai Ladan, stated that Nigeria has the potentials to become a global super power in Africa because it ranks third in gas production after Algeria and Egypt, despite being the largest in terms of gas reserves.
He argued that Nigeria can broaden its economy using gas, adding that it is a critical strategic consideration that must be embraced. He stressed the need to design a framework that will focus on gas exploration with full support of industry stakeholders.
President of NGA, Bolaji Osunsanya, stated that Nigeria has experienced a transformational shift in the perceived role of natural gas from an energy source.
According to him, the decline in crude oil prices has coincided with a welcome surge in the use of natural gas for domestic and industrial needs in developed and developing countries.
Osunsanya disclosed that despite the abundance of natural gas, Nigeria’s gas-fired plants continue to operate below their installed capacity, crippled by the unavailability of gas due to persistent pipeline sabotage.
He urged the government and operators alike to understand that the first step to take is the creation of a legal and regulatory framework which will eradicate persistent obstacles which have burdened the progress of the sector.