NAICE 2022: Stakeholders make fresh consensus on Nigeria’s gas advantage

Oredola Adeola

Sandwiched between global acceleration to cleaner energy and its own domestic transition agenda, Nigeria’s energy key stakeholders have come to a fresh consensus to ramp up domestic gas production , using the advantages of technology and dialogue to scale up sustainable gas developments.

The consensus and the unfolding of a new agenda for the country’s energy transition was mooted on the platform of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Conference, ongoing in Lagos.

Mr. Effiong Okon, New Energy Director, Seplat Energy Plc, production of natural gas remains the only means by which Nigeria can drive down carbon intensity.

According to him, Nigerians need to begin to use crude oil revenue to finance   gas and other cleaner energy sources.

He said, “Gas development is critical to Nigeria’s economic growth amidst global advocacy for decarbonisation. The global push to energy transition will not give Nigeria concession.

“This is why the Federal Government’s approach to energy transition should be more deliberate and intentional. I agree that the country is committed to oil and gas development, but the reality is that the bulk of revenue earned from these resources has significantly declined  because 90 percent of crude is stolen and Nigeria is almost running bankrupt.

“As a leading oil and gas company, Seplat  is developing hydro carbon in an internationally acceptable manner. This is the only way to obtain international finance for development of your facilities.

“ Energy transition is real. It is not just going to happen as a flip. It takes process and we must be committed to navigating that process. Nigeria is more of a gas nation than crude oil. We have the gas as a way of decarbonisation. The revenue from crude oil should be deliberately channeled into developing gas.

“The FG has declared the Assa North-Ohaji South Gas project also known as ANOH project as one of the seven critical gas development projects for the country. Seplat Energy has commenced its part of the gas project, being in a joint venture with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corp.

“We are conscious about utilisations of technology and innovation to develop our gas facilities. We started with the expansion of the Oben gas plant when gas was traded for $2.50 cents per  MMBtu  .  Today there is so much money to be made in gas production because  it is $7 per  MMBtu. This is why our development focus at Seplat is more on gas.”

Effiong however insisted that Africa and Nigeria get fund concessions because it is the least developed continent. He said Nigeria’s crude oil and gas are instruments that would be used to grow its economy, He said, “Once the hydrocarbon revenue is gone, everything is gone.”

Mrs Elozion Olaniyan,  General Manager (GM) Safety & Environment, Shell Nigeria said Nigeria’s crude oil remains valuable for the development of other energy sources.

Despite the global push for abandonment of hydrocarbons, Nigeria is left with the only option of optimally developing its crude oil and then using the revenue earned through sales to develop the technology required for transition and development of natural gas which is its transition fuel.

Nigeria can create economic value  by developing its oil and gas resources. The serious money made through can then be used to build world class cleaner energy. We need to be strategic about switching from fossil fuel to cleaner sources.

“We need to talk about the kind of investment that is needed to get the gas that we produce to the market. We need to continue to produce our oil in a sustainable manner to transition and we have gas resources stranded.

Elozion  however emphasised that Nigeria does not have the fund and it is not likely to be given the finance to fund its transition desire.