The Federal Government has appealed to its partners in the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) trains to relax their rules to enable third-party independent gas producers supply gas through their pipeline networks with a view to ramp up gas production.
The appeal became necessary following the refusal of the NLNG management to allow third parties to transport gas through its dedicated pipelines.
Mr Timipre Sylva, Minister of State Petroleum Resources, made this appeal to the country’s joint partners comprising Shell, Chevron, NNPC and others, when he met with Mr Sefano De Leo, new Italian Ambassador to Nigeria in Abuja, on Monday.
The Minister revealed that the NLNG partners need to review their decision to allow other gas producers to feed the trains with gas to enable the facilities to operate at installed capacity.
He noted that when the gas producers are given access to using their gas supply infrastructure, it would enable Nigeria to meet both domestic and international gas obligations.
He added that due to constrained availability the NLNG has only been able to meet their gas supply obligation to the train at about 70% installed capacity.
Sylva said Nigeria is willing to join in global efforts to ease the European Union’s gas crisis but all the players in the upstream and midstream must collaborate to reduce the operations bottlenecks. S
The Minister said, “The issue we have with the existing NLNG Trains is that of insufficient gas supply. They can barely meet 70% of the gas requirement on the train. The partners are running out of gas and they are refusing to supply gas to the Trains.
“Unfortunately, the partners have been insisting that they can only allow third parties to supply gas to the plant only if they agree to supply at subsidised rates. These people, of course, want to make money and they cannot supply at subsidised rates and that’s why the NLNG Trains cannot produce at full capacity.
“The partners can afford to supply at subsidised rates because they are partners in the NLNG project, not third parties. This is a very critical issue I want to discuss with the respective partners to see how we can resolve this problem so that we can increase the production capacity of the NLNG,’ Sylva said.
De Leo in his remark revealed the economic relevance of Nigeria, as Africa’s most populous country cannot be ignored, especially on the political and economic levels.
He said, “At the moment, the EU wants to diversify its energy sources especially gas and Nigeria is very strategic to us. We have been long-standing friends and partners and one of the most important ones for that matter.
The Italian Ambassador stated that no country in Africa is more strategic than Nigeria because of its population, economy and political position.