Stories by Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Mr. Tony Attah, has disclosed that the gas company can overcome rising competition and potential cuts from its market shares by emerging LNG companies if it can remain competitive in its operations.
Attah, also stated at a recent meeting in Abuja that the company’s Train-7 expansion project which was expected to have its final investment decision (FID) taken by the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019, would offer Nigeria a unique opportunity to end the wasteful flaring of natural gas from her oil fields.
Speaking to journalists on the side-lines of the meeting where the NLNG and Nigerian Content Development Management Board (NCDMB) signed off the Nigerian content plan of the Train-7 project, Attah, explained that the NLNG would rather emphasis on remaining competitive in its operations than fretting over new entrants into the global LNG market.
“What we talk about is not competition but competitiveness, essentially if we stay competitive, we believe that we will continue to be in business. But you have to look at the reality of the energy transition, the changing energy mix, there is a huge replacement.
“Today, you see competition but demands for gas is set to grow and we believe gas will substitute a huge,” he said.
According to the International Gas Union (IGU) 2018 LNG market report, the number of LNG producers and exporters in 2017 across the world remained 18, but with Qatar maintaining its leading position as the world’s top exporter of LNG with its 2017 liquefaction reaching 81.0 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).
IGU explained that Australia came next to Qatar followed by Malaysia and then Nigeria as the number fourth accounting for 7.3 per cent of the global market share. Indonesia, and the United States were the other countries in the leading LNG producer and exporter rung, but with Australia and the United States having led in growth of exports by increases over 2016 of 11.9MTPA and 10.2MTPA, respectively.
The IGU, equally noted that there were 92MTPA of liquefaction capacity under construction world-wide, and it expected about one-third of such to come online in 2018 from locations that included Australia, Cameroon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia and the United States.
Similarly, Attah, stated that within the 19 years of NLNG’s operation, its six trains plant have generated more than $100 billion in revenue and paid over $16 billion dividends to Nigeria’s federal government through Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which holds a 49 per cent shareholding in the gas company.
“We have also paid over $13 billion to the federal government for feed gas purchases and $6.5 billion in taxes. A 35 per cent increase in NLNG’s production capacity will further boost the country’s GDP significantly,” he further explained.
With regards to further potential impacts of the Train-7 project on Nigeria’s environment and economy, Attah, noted: “Gas flaring is gone. With Train-7, and you heard our senior shareholder say Train-8, 9, 10, our ambition is to remain the receptacle for gas, and gas flaring will become history in this country.”