The federal government is banking on the 30 million tons Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Train 7 programme as well as the five billion cubic feet (BCF) Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) projects to boost its gas production, President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday.
Speaking in Doha, Qatar, at the sixth Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit of Heads of State and Government, the president declared that Nigeria would continue to invest and focus attention on natural gas exploitation in the country.
Represented at the event by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, Buhari noted that the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), would further enable Nigeria derive more value from its natural gas.
He further listed the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) that provides a framework and policy support to extend gas supply and utilisation in power generation, as one of the ways the government expects to boost gas usage in the country.
In addition, a statement by the Senior Special Adviser on Media, to Sylva, Horatius Egua, quoted Buhari as stating that the declaration of 2021-2030 as the “Decade of Gas,” would lower carbon emissions and reduce the country’s import bills.
According to him, the government was providing critical gas infrastructure such as the AKK gas pipeline to support five billion cubic feet per day of domestic gas utilisation in the near term and 5-gigawatt of power generation.
“Nigeria, a gas province with some oil, is committed to sustainable growth of natural gas exploitation and utilisation, both for domestic use and export via LNG and pipeline gas to sub-regional African countries.
“Nigeria is embarking on different initiatives, projects, and policies to enhance the performance of the oil & gas sector. These include: Expanding our current LNG production capacity to about 30 million tons per annum at Bonny with the ongoing NLNG Train 7 project.
“The recent enactment of the PIA is an indication of our commitment to derive more value from natural gas by providing the required governance, regulatory and fiscal framework to support the growth of the industry.
“Furthermore, given the devastating impact of climate change as evident in desertification, drought, pollution in the northern, central, and coastal parts of the country, respectively, we are committed to cutting our greenhouse gas emissions towards achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2060,” he stated.
The president noted that with natural gas projected to be the leading fossil fuel in the energy transition, the GECF, given its member countries’ vast natural gas resources and experience in the oil and gas industry, was well positioned to provide a credible platform to promote natural gas as a sustainable fuel for an effective energy transition.
“We therefore need to continue to assess the gas and energy market dynamics both in the short, medium, and long-term timeframe with the aim of taking market opportunities and collectively addressing the challenges,” he stated.
To achieve the set objectives, he called for the need to work together as policy makers and decision makers to make modern energy sources such as natural gas available and affordable to all.
While restating Nigeria’s commitment to Conference of Parties (CoP26), the president acknowledged gas as an abundant, flexible and clean fossil fuel.
Buhari stressed that the country recognises the role of governments and the private sector in providing the necessary capital to fund clean energy technologies and projects to support the transition to a low carbon future.
“In this context, the theme for the Doha Declaration: “Natural Gas: Shaping the Energy Future” is quite timely and fits into the global trend and quest for energy transition to be fuelled by clean and low-carbon energy fuels as well as for energy market stability,” he stated.
He explained that technology and innovation, adequate investments, and policies would be critical in providing the necessary infrastructure to exploit the natural gas resources and deploy innovative carbon reduction technologies and mechanisms towards achieving a realistic greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
“The activities of the GECF Gas Research Institute in Algeria, efforts of individual GECF member countries in Research & Development (R&D) and the international Research and Development institutions at large, would need to be leveraged on for sustainable and cost-effective exploitation of the hydrocarbons.
“This will not be achieved without collaboration amongst us and building the capacity of the next generation of energy leaders,” he added.
The GECF is an international organisation which gathers leading gas producing countries to increase coordination and collaboration, among members.