Discovery could be higher if gas could become focus in Nigeria

Dec 11, 2002 01:00 AM

As Nigeria intensifies efforts at eradicating gas flaring by tapping its economic potentials, the Special Assistant to the President on Petroleum and Energy, Mr Funso Kupolokun, has put the amount lost to gas flaring within sub-Saharan Africa at $ 2.5 bn. He said such development had put the region in an unenviable first position in unutilised gas in the world.
In a paper titled: “Issues in natural gas utilisation” delivered at a workshop for stakeholders on natural gas in Abuja, Kupolokun said Nigeria had an estimated 158 tcf in gas reserve, about the same volume with the oil reserve. He said the scope of discovery could be higher if gas could become the focus of exploration in the country.

Kupolokun gave reasons for the apparent low utilisation of gas in the country to include uncertainties in gas price, payment risks and foreign exchange availability. Others are law incentives to contain costs; uncertainty over the role of government and lack of coordination among government bodies. Inadequate legal and regulatory framework for gas exploitation was cited as another reason.
While advocating private participation in the gas sector, the special assistant suggested government's intervention in the area financial guarantees to obtain both gas supplies and the needed infrastructure.

A senior policy adviser, Oil and Gas, Mining and Chemicals Department, of the World Bank, Mr Charles McPherson, advised government to tackle price issues first, provide needed incentives, de-link upstream and downstream sectors and consolidate the implementation of existing legislation.
The workshop attracted experts and stakeholders in the gas sector and would work out effective strategies for the development and economic utilisation of gas resources in Nigeria.

Source: This Day
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