Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that Nigeria’s proven gas reserves of 192 trillion cubic feet (TCF) can only sustain the country’s plan to generate 20,000 megawatts (MW) of power and provide gas to guarantee 64 -metric tonne per annum (MTPA) growth in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) supplies for 36 years.
The Corporation stated that going by Nigeria’s gas development plans, the reserves would need to be improved on.
It however explained if nothing is done, and demands on gas remains at the current 3,000MW and 22MTPA, the reserves will last for 65 years.
The corporation’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru stated these in an industry address he delivered at the 13th annual conference and exhibition of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) held recently in Abuja.
Baru said Nigeria needs to quickly develop new gas sources, adding that the country has up to seven huge sources which the NNPC is looking at as possible areas for investment to be channeled.
“The gas reserves in Nigeria currently stand at 192TCF. With the demand growth we will witness a sharp decline in reserve unless something is done to arrest the decline,” said Baru.
He further explained: “The US department of energy indicated that with enhanced exploration activities Nigeria’s reserve could reach 600TCF. Consequently an aggressive exploration campaign will have to be launched to discover more gas to meet the envisaged demand.
“With 22MTPA of LNG and about 3GW of thermal power generation, the reserve of 192TCF could only last for 65 years. However, if we consider the growth case of 64MTPA of LNG and 20GW of thermal power generation capacity, the reserve of 192TCF will only last for 36years. The message is, we need to launch an aggressive exploration campaign.”
He noted that there are several gas acreage distributions that the country could embark on to quickly grow its reserves base. These acreages, he indicated are up to 209 in number and scattered across the Benue Trough, Anambra Basin and others.
“To increase our reserve therefore, we need to expand the areas for exploration for gas. The frontier basins need to be explored more aggressively. These basins include the Chad basin (40 blocks), Benue Trough (41 blocks), Anambra Basin (12 blocks), Sokoto Basin (28 blocks), Bida (17 blocks) and Dahomey (37 blocks). The Niger Delta (34 blocks) also needs to be explored further. There are about 200 oil and gas open acreages for allocation across different terrain in the country.”
Meanwhile, the NGA has said that an enabling operational environment could provide the right incentive to seamlessly align the gas sector with power sector.
A communique from the conference stated that fixing the gaps between the gas and power sector would help drive gas-based in the country.
“The conference pointed the need to fix urgently the dysfunctional gas to power value chain to attract the required investment in the sector especially legacy debts and the mismatch in the investment and revenue currency as well as the sanctity of contracts and agreements.
“The illiquidity of the power market requires urgent attention. We suggest a rethink of the quality and capitalisation of current players and a re-adjustment of the tariff structure may be required. Without a doubt, we must find creative securitisation mechanisms that improve bankability,” said the communique.