#SPEOLEF2023: Nigerian Government reaffirms commitment towards gas utilisation, infrastructure, enabling environment

 

Oredola Adeola

The Nigerian Government has restated its commitment to the effective utilisation of gas resources in the country through policies and regulations aimed at encouraging the use of natural gas, promoting gas infrastructure investments, and competitive gas market.

The commitment was reaffirmed by Amb. Gabriel Aduda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and  Engr. Farouk Ahmed, Authority Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), at the 2023 Society of Petroleum Engineers Oloibiri Lecture Series & Energy Forum, SPEOLEF2023, held on Thursday in Abuja.

The theme of the lecture series was: “Effective Gas Resources Utilisation: A Lever for Enhancing Energy Security and Achieving Net-Zero Emission Goals in Nigeria”.

According to him, the Ministry of Petroleum Resouces has been playing a crucial role in the effective utilisation of gas resources in Nigeria, through policy initiatives dedicated to creating an enabling environment and partnerships for the private sector to build pipelines, storage facilities, and other gas infrastructure required for the transportation and storage of gas.

Aduda said, “Gas infrastructure is essential for the expansion of domestic utilisation, affordability of the commodity, and competition and efficiency.

“We are already achieving very amiable results in the domestic intake of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in several small and medium scale industries across the country.

“Another important role is supporting the development of a competitive and efficient gas market by promoting the use of market-based pricing mechanisms and encouraging the participation of multiple players in the market.

“A competitive market can help to ensure that gas is priced efficiently, which in turn can help to encourage its use.

The PS emphasised that Nigeria was the first African country to regulate methane emissions from its oil and gas sector in 2022, in compliance with the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) goal of cutting anthropogenic methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030 will drive significant energy security, food security, health, and several other development gains.

He said, “The enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 has led to the creation of regulatory frameworks with clear-cut mandates for the growth and development of the oil and gas sector.

“If properly implemented, it would represent the gold standard of natural resource management, with clear and separate roles for the subsectors of the industry.

“It also creates the Midstream Gas Infrastructure Fund (MGIF) for the purpose of supporting investments in the development of gas infrastructure, which includes pipelines, storage facilities, and processing plants, to facilitate the transportation and storage of gas.

Gas is a cleaner-burning fossil fuel than oil or coal and can play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

It is also essential to promote public awareness and education on the benefits of gas as a cleaner and more affordable source of energy.

“This will require targeted outreach and engagement with communities, as well as the development of programmes that provide affordable access to clean energy for households and small businesses, “Aduda, PS, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, said.

Kyari, GCEO, NNPC Ltd, in his presentation on the topic noted that  Nigeria’s huge investment in gas infrastructure is hinged on its growing natural gas reserves, thus supporting the Nation’s aspiration to create Africa’s biggest industrial hub, powered by low-carbon energy.

The NNPC GCEO emphasised that NNPC Ltd. has been taking advantage of Nigeria’s huge natural gas reserves of over 200 trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) with a potential to grow to 600 TCF as more investment is expected due to the recent resolution of the Production Sharing Contract disputes with partners.

He said this significant reserve would serve as a low-carbon energy alternative that would support growth in power and industrial sectors, address energy poverty, reduce carbon-footprint and create more employment opportunities.

“NNPC is playing a leading role in the realisation of the National Gas Expansion Programme, which seeks to deepen natural gas utilisation as an alternative transportation fuel, and an important feedstock for gas-based industries development.

“We are working assiduously to ensure timely delivery of gas pipeline infrastructure projects, including the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline corridor, planned Nigeria-Morocco and Trans-Sahara Gas Pipelines, that will connect West African countries to deliver natural gas to international markets,” he said.

For the gas export market, he said the on-going Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Train Seven would expand Nigeria’s LNG production capacity from 22 Million Tons Per Annum (MTPA) to about 30 MTPA.

He said it was leveraging the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act to attract more investment in the Nigerian Petroleum sector, to continue to guarantee access to energy while aligning with global energy transition.

“As part of our sustainability strategy, NNPC is deploying carbon-reduction initiatives to gradually decarbonise our operations and improve our compliances with global emission reduction.

“All of these cannot be achieved if we do not have security of our operations. We will continue to further deepen collaboration amongst all the relevant stakeholders; government security agencies, host communities and others to enhance energy security.

“NNPC will deepen relationships with the Industry, Governments, Research Institutions and the Academia to strengthen its Renewable Energy Division to pursue commercially viable new energy ventures in line with Nigeria’s net-zero aspiration by 2060,” he said.

Kyari, while thanking the SPE for their efforts in promoting innovation, knowledge sharing required for our industry, urged them and other industry stakeholders to continue to collaborate with the NNPC Ltd to guarantee energy security.

Engr. Komolafe, CCE, NUPRC, represented by Dr. Nuhu Habib, Executive Commissioner, Production and Development, NUPRC, restated the Commission’s commitment to the provision of the enabling environment and regulatory frameworks for progressive investments in gas production and energy transition achievement.

Engr Farouk Ahmed, ACE, who was represented at the forum by Dr Mustapha Lamorde, NMDPRA, Executive Director of Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC), revealed that five out of  12 recently gazetted midstream and downstream regulations are focused on gas investment.

He noted that the Authority drafted 20 oil and gas industry regulations to fully deliver the value of oil and gas to position Nigeria’s economy on the growth trajectory.

The ACE emphasised that the Authority is positioned to ensure an enabling environment and investments in the gas value chain for businesses to thrive