By Oke Peter
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said with the 3,500 million standard cubic feet per day of additional gas to be supplied from seven critical gas development projects, the nation’s economy can create up to seven million jobs and boost the Gross Domestic Product by about $50bn.
The corporation’s Group Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Mr Saidu Mohammed, said the nation’s current proven gas reserve had increased to 202 trillion cubic feet from the initial figure of 199tcf.
Mohammed, in his presentation at a technical symposium organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, said, “Out of 8.5bscfd of natural gas production in Nigeria, only 18 per cent of natural gas produced is being utilised by the domestic market, large percentage of the gas produced is used for the export market. Re-injection is 32 per cent and flared gas stands at seven per cent.
He said despite the growing importance of natural gas in the country, some factors were hindering the optimal domestic utilisation of gas.
According to him, the factors include gas pricing, supply security, the inadequacy of gas infrastructures and infrastructure vandalism.
Mohammed said the seven critical gas development projects were at different stages of development and would help to bridge the supply gap in the domestic market.
“The NNPC is aggressively expanding and integrating the domestic gas pipeline infrastructure network system, thereby creating a robust gas pipeline infrastructure grid. Currently, all existing power plants are connected to permanent gas supply pipeline,” he added.
According to him, a vast range of investment opportunities span across the value chain and are ready to be explored.
He said, “Base case domestic gas demand is expected to grow to 7.4 billion scfd by 2027. Based on all currently known domestic gas supply projects, the domestic gas supply is forecast to close the demand by 2021 as we have identified seven critical gas development projects that are currently being fast-tracked to bridge the foreseen supply gap by 2021.
“The anticipated completion of the ELPS II Looping and OB3 will be a game changer as hitherto stranded gas would be able to enter the market. Projects such as the AKK and NGMC’s Ajaokuta Mini LNG Project will facilitate gas supply to northern parts of the country.”
Mohammed said there had been an upsurge in the development of gas processing plants and the NNPC had responded by creating a subsidiary company in the Nigerian Gas Company to drive all investments and partnerships to develop gas processing plants.
“As more gas-based industries projects are being developed, gas utilisation would significantly increase, which would have a positive effect on domestic industrialisation, employment and economic wellbeing,” he added.