NNPC Managing Director, Mr. Andrew Yakubu
• National Assembly to give PIB speedy attention
By Chika Amanze-Nwachuku and Chineme Okafor
The Federal Government’s decision to place priority on gas for domestic consumption has been the reason for the delay in the take off of various gas export projects, some of which had been in the pipeline for nearly a decade, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu, has said.
The Yakubu also said the long awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which is currently before the National Assembly would be given expeditious attention with the passage likely to take place within the year.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 13th Nigerian Oil Gas Conference, which kicked off in Abuja Monday,
Yakubu said government, for now, is focusing on domestic gas consumption to support the power agenda and the petrochemical initiatives of the Federal Government.
He, however, assured Nigerians that the LNG projects are still very much on course notwithstanding doubts on government’s commitment to them.
The LNG projects include the multi-billion dollars Brass LNG project, the Olokola LNG (OKLNG) project, and the Train 7 of the Nigerian LNG project.
“There is a shift or rather special emphasis on domestic gas consumption to support the power agenda of Mr. President and also the petrochemical initiatives and the gas revolution initiatives of the government, the GMD said.
Yakubu explained that the Brass LNG project, which is located in Niger Delta region of Bayelsa State, is still on course and that the government was keen to progress with the project, which it considering that it was to be key to Nigeria’s bid to end gas flaring.
He also stated that Nigeria would target to grow her contribution to the global LNG market to about 400mtpa by the year 2030, in addition to other gas production targets which will see the country take up about 10 percent of the global LNG market share.
He also assured Nigerians that the Trans Saharan gas pipeline project, a sub-regional initiative, is still on the drawing board. “There are other issues that surround the development of that, which also had to do with the market and you know the gas investment is market driven. So that has to be put in its write perspective to enable it move,” he said.
On the long awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which is currently before the National Assembly, the GMD said, the bill would be given expeditious attention and passage likely to take place this within the year.
“The PIB, which was placed before the National Assembly by Mr. President last year. We understand its receiving good attention. The two houses are currently looking at it and they have been consulting with the various expert groups for clarification. We are very positive that it would receive expeditious attention this year and hopefully it would be passed. And we believe when it comes it will add a lot of value to oil and gas participation in Nigeria.”
Also, Chairman of the board of Brass LNG, Dr. Jackson Gaius-Obaseki, had at the eighth annual general meeting of the company last year in Abuja noted that the project will after all progress despite earlier indications by one of the project’s promoters, ConocoPhillips that it wants to sell its Nigerian assets.
Obaseki had assured that contractual agreement for the supply of gas to Brass LNG will not be flaunted by suppliers upon the project’s completion and eventual operation, adding that the project is expected to see its Final Investment Decision (FID) taken within the first quarter (Q1) of 2013.