Dizeani Allison Madueke
Nigeria’s share in global Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market is being threatened by a seeming lack of drive to push through existing investments in LNG projects within the country.
Accordingly, the country is gradually losing grip of its position in global LNG market share with its current share now put at eight percent, which oil and gas industry operators noted is two percent slide away from its previous share of 10 percent.
Some of the operators, who spoke at the eight international gas conference and exhibition of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) last week in Abuja, noted that the delay in achieving the Final Investment Decisions (FID) on key LNG projects such as Brass LNG, OKLNG and NLNG Train 7 will further add to the country’s loss of key LNG export portfolios.
In their various presentations at the conference which concentration was on the anticipated status of Nigeria’s gas sector in view of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), these experts decried certain contents of the bill in relation to the growth of Nigeria’s gas sector.
According to them, the fiscal terms in the PIB for gas will further stifle investment in the sector with about 87 per cent of gas projects becoming unviable when the bill comes into operation.
They, however argued for a balanced fiscal and regulatory gas framework in the new bill, which had crossed the critical second reading in the legislative procedure.
But in its 2011 world LNG report, the International Gas Union (IGU) placed Nigeria’s contribution in global LNG market at eight per cent with about 18.7 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of its LNG produced and exported globally.
The report noted that Australia which also contributed eight per cent of global LNG exports is however ahead of Nigeria with 19.2MTPA and is steadily growing its LNG market to possibly overhaul Qatar which is the world’s largest LNG exporter, holding nearly 31 per cent of the market with its 75.5MTPA export quantity.
It explained that Nigeria occupied the fifth slot of the global LNG export rung while Australia which had plans to eventually build liquefaction capacity to eclipse Qatari capacity remained the fourth largest LNG producer and exporter.
Australia, according to the report, is massively engaged in LNG development as it strives to lock on market openings in the wake of Qatar attaining its planned nameplate capacity of 77 MTPA.
In its evaluation of LNG trade volumes between countries, the report stated that Nigeria’s 18.7MTPA was exported to countries with volumes such as Belgium (0.06), France (2.66), Kuwait (0.59), Brazil (0.05), India (1.00), Mexico (0.86), and China (0.67).
Others are Japan (1.90), Portugal (1.91), Taiwan (0.67), Korea (1.13), Spain (4.74), US (0.05), Argentina (0.30), Greece (0.06), Netherlands (0.05), Thailand (0.12) and United Arab Emirate (0.06) respectively.