Strides Group: Why Nigeria Must Invest in Natural Gas

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    The Chairman of Strides Group, owners of Strides Energy and Maritime Limited, Moritz Abazie has called on the federal government to leverage on the enormous potentials in Nigeria’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and boost investment, saying it is the best way to boost productivity and drive economic growth.

    He said in a statement that the LNG sector presents a good opportunity to complement revenue from oil exports for economic development if well managed.

    According to him, the natural gas could be best described as ‘the energy of the future’ despite the threat of alternative energy sources, as it is in high demand for industrial processes.

    “Talking about gas, it is the energy of the future despite the threat of alternative energy sources. Besides the use as energy source, gas is in high demand for industrial processes as feedstock for chemicals and fertilizers. The country’s gas potentials are enormous and could be managed to manifest into a robust economy through its huge contributions to her Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as growth and development,” he said.

    Abazie further cautioned that the country was losing the competitive space in the LNG global industry due to non-implementation of FID on the additional trains.

    “Nigeria was ranked the fourth largest LNG exporter in 2016 according to world LNG report. However, delays in taking final investment decisions (FID) in various LNG projects in the country has started eroding our market share in the global market. While we are going slowly on these, the United States, Australia and Russia are ramping up to take advantage of the growing demand. The International Energy Agency disclosed in its latest gas market report “Gas 2018”, that the USA will account for about 75 per cent of global LNG export growth by 2023 and will control 20 per cent of total market share. By 2016, United States had four per cent of the market share and occupied the 16th position while Nigeria occupied 4th position in global supply market size”

    “It is noteworthy though that the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company N-LNG, signed its engineering design contract for Train 7 construction last week, this is in preparation for the signing of final investment decision (FID) later in the year, this will increase its production capacity from 22 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA, source progress no doubt,” he added.

    While commending the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), the oil and gas expert noted that investment potentials and security of the nation’s oil and gas sector was still locked down in the other pieces of legislation yet to be passed.

    “Passage of the fiscal framework bill will unlock investment into the industry especially the offshore sector. The bill on host community issues will help address the challenges of insecurity if it gives attractive stake to host communities, enough to incentivise them to protect oil and gas assets in their various domains,” Abazie added.