Chineme Okafor in Abuja
In reaction to THISDAY’s exclusive story yesterday on the fate of the Brass and Olokola Liquefied Natural Gas projects, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it would invite new investors to partner with it in both gas projects.
The corporation also expressed its commitment to carry on with the two gas projects, insisting that they were high priority gas ventures that could earn revenue for the federal government.
THISDAY had reported yesterday that the shareholders of Brass LNG were slated to meet early next month in London on the project, whose Final Investment decision (FID) has been delayed for almost a decade.
An official of one of the shareholders, who spoke to THISDAY on the condition of anonymity, maintained that the Brass LNG project remained on course and blamed the delay in signing the FID to the absence of political will on the part of the Goodluck Jonathan administration and what he called the protracted withdrawal of ConocoPhillips from the project.
According to him, the shareholders – NNPC, ENI, Total and ConocoPhillips – were at the point of signing the FID before the American oil major pulled out of Nigeria.
THISDAY also reported that there was uncertainty over the future of the OKLNG project situated on the border town between Ogun and Ondo States, following the withdrawal of the project’s shareholders and the recent decision by NNPC to relocate its staff seconded to the project to Abuja.
However, a statement yesterday from the Group General Manager Public Affairs of NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu said that the corporation’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru reiterated NNPC’s commitment to the Brass and Olokola gas projects when the management of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) paid him a visit.
Baru, according to the statement, said monetising Nigeria’s natural gas was a cardinal mandate of the corporation.
“We are still committed, as NNPC, to monetising our natural gas resources. We have the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company, which is at the moment monetising about four billion standard cubic feet of gas on a daily basis. We also have plans for Olokola LNG as well as Brass LNG.
“We have a little challenge with market windows for these projects which we are reviewing on a monthly basis. Once the appropriate market window opens up, we will quickly get more shareholders to join us for the projects,” said Baru.
Baru also confirmed THISDAY’s report that a meeting of Brass LNG stakeholders has been scheduled for early next year on the way forward for the project.
He further disclosed that apart from the LNG projects, NNPC was also working on gas monetisation through aggressive enhancement of domestic gas supply for power generation and industrial use.
On the alleged scarcity of aviation fuel, which has been blamed for flight delays and cancellations in the aviation sector, Baru clarified that NNPC had taken steps to ensure adequate supply of the product with the importation of over 45 million litres.
He added that the challenge had more to do with the inability of airlines to pay for the product after the introduction of the cash-and-carry policy by oil marketers on account of the huge amount they were being owed by the airlines.