By Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has stated that with the current LNG demand growth from China, India, and some Asian markets, there would be a boost in LNG supplies in 2017.

The company said while the global LNG market experienced some very difficult periods in 2016 as a result of the dip in oil prices, some Asian markets were beginning to take up centre stages in LNG demand growth just as demand from European market could likely drop within the period.

The Managing Director of NLNG, Mr. Tony Attah, stated these during an interaction with journalists on the sidelines of the just concluded 2017 edition of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition (NOG) in Abuja.

Attah said in his assessment of the LNG market in 2016, as well as the operations of NLNG, that the market was down in 2016, but added that there was hope that there would be a better performance in 2017.

“People will think it was only oil price that was down, gas price was down as well but we are very excited at the recent development with the improvement in the market. We are also seeing some improvement upwards but we are also seeing improving demands in the India, China and some Asians are beginning to take centre stage again. We have to rely on Europe as the central point, which is the sink to receive in the phase of reduced demand. So, last year was tough year and it forced a lot of tightening but we will see more hope in 2017,” Attah explained.

He also spoke on a recent gas pipeline explosion that occurred within the precinct of the company’s operation in Rivers State, saying that the explosion had nothing to do with any of its gas pipelines or infrastructure.

“Let me first correct the impression that the explosion was on NLNG line. I read a few things from saying that NLNG pipeline exploded. No! The pipeline does not belong to us. The one that was impacted was not ours, but it is true that we also have a line in the same corridor but in this instance, it is not our line,” he clarified.

“But we are partnering with the company whose line was impacted, to ensure that we restore operations. We are not receiving gas from them at moment because of the situation but we are working to have them come back because if they are back we are sure to receive more supply to fill our trains one to six as you can expect,” he added.

Asked when the affected lines could come back on stream, as well as the likely financial impact the incident may have cost NLNG, Attah said it would expect the lines to be restored within the next one or two weeks. He then added that he would need to crosscheck if there were any financial impacts on NLNG from the explosion.

“I am not aware of anyone’s death as a result of the explosion. This line is in a very remote area, a minimum of two to four kilometers from habited location. It was quite an unfortunate incident for this company but it is certainly not an NLNG line. I must emphasise that to you,” he said.