Gas Policy: Minister Challenges ExxonMobil, Others

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Richard Laing - Executive Director and Production Manager, ExxonMobil Nigeria and Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu - Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources,

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has urged ExxonMobil and other International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria to key into the gas commercialisation policy of government for gas development in the country.

Kachikwu gave the advice while fielding questions from newsmen after visiting the ExxonMobil Erha Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessels (FPSO) facility in Lagos Sunday.

An FPSO unit is a floating vessel used by the offshore oil and gas industry for the production and processing of hydrocarbons for the storage of oil.

Erha FPSO has a liquid storage capacity of 2.2 million barrels, making it one of its biggest kind in the world. The Erha field and Erha North satellite field were completed in 2006.

The fields are located approximately 97km offshore Nigeria in water depths ranging from 1,000m to 1,200m.

NAN reported that the fields were developed with an investment of $3.5 billion.

He said that gas would be parallel income stream for the country if everyone key in to implement the gas commercialisation policy

“There is so much we can do with oil. We are doing that. I like to see oil go up in barrels, up to 3 million barrels but most importantly, I like to see gas begin its life.

“If you look at the production, a lot of gas is been rejected. And everybody is talking of gas in the country and gas is going to be parallel income stream for the country.

“We have talked about it too much, but fiscal terms have to be agreed, PSC terms, commercial terms for gas need to be agreed and once we unlock that, the issues of power becomes secondary.

“My message here today is, thanks for the fantastic work you are doing but there is a huge amount of work left undone,’’ he said.

He said that the country had volume and reserves of oil to produce in the next 40 to 50 years but the gas was still lying untapped.

He said that a lot had been done under the gas commercialisation policy, adding that the LPG deployment had started in the country.

“But those are just touching the fringes, what is important is coming up with right commercial terms, get that done as rapidly as possible and let everybody who have access to gas to development,’’ he added.

He said that government had received submission from all oil companies keying into the policy to help exit gas flare.

“It is a different thing from dealing with gas development itself. There are many ways to stop flare, you can inject it and that is what has helped us achieved about 70 per cent factor in gas flare exit but that is not real exit, that is manage exit.

“For you to exit it, you must have the right commercial terms so that people can produce gas and make it commercial,’’ he said.

He noted that the need to develop gas for commercial purpose remained the big elephant in the room. (NAN)