…DPR Upbeat about New Gas Initiative

0

Peter Uzoho 

The Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Sharki Auwalu, has said the newly launched Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code  (NGTNC) will help the country a great deal, saying it was designed to open up access and enhance availability and affordability of domestic gas or cooking gas for Nigerians.

The NGTNC was formally launched at the just ended third edition of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS)  in Abuja by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources,  Chief Timipre Sylva, with oil and gas players and stakeholders in attendance.

The Network Code became effective from the day of launch -February 10, 2020, as the transporter and all existing users of the transportation network were mandated to within six months migrate from existing gas transportation agreements to the network code by executing the necessary ancillary agreements. 

However, throwing more light on the network code, Auwalu, during his presentation at the summit, described it as a set of rules that guide the use of the gas transportation system in Nigeria. 

He added that the code would essentially govern the operations of all the network players including suppliers, transporters, shippers and agents.

According to him, the code is a contractual framework between the network operator and network users, serving as an important negotiation component of the gas business and transactions in the Nigerian domestic gas market. 

He explained that the code was patterned after the United Kingdom’s Uniform Code (UNC) and modelled on a methodology that is established, recognised and practiced globally within matured gas markets, which, when implemented, shall entrench transparency in the gas industry.

Auwalu, further explained that the network code was also intended to ensure fair & non-discriminatory access to the gas network; promote gas trading and deepen domestic gas penetration in-country.  

According him, “It also aims to promote investments in the gas sector. What we should be expecting is to have an open access. What we are doing for Nigerians is to create an enabling environment for everybody to have access to gas. 

 “The network code is to provide availability, just like in the communication sector, when networks were created – MTN and other networks, telephone became more available and affordable. That is exactly what we want to achieve in the gas sector using the network code. 

“We want to create transport network in such a way that every Nigerian has access to gas.  We call it ‘Gas-to-people’.  This means that the seller, the distributor, producer and others have a common ground to sell and trade in gas.  It makes it available and affordable to each and every Nigerian.” 

However, Auwalu, added that the department was using technology to reposition the entire downstream sector of the nation’s petroleum industry. 

He added:  “We are using technology to reposition the downstream sector- enhance security, enhance skills set for the operators of the downstream, give them basic skills that they need to be safe and manage the critical infrastructure they are working with. 

“So our own strategy is to ensure that minimum industry training is given to each individual: integrity for the facility, trying to avail them of new strategies, new technology of achieving quality, safety and availability of downstream products.”