Nigeria to prioritize gas for domestic use

Jun 18, 2007 02:00 AM

Nigeria's new president, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, has asked Nigeria National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) to draw up a plan for providing gas for domestic needs, particularly power generation. Yar'Adua held a 3 hour meeting with senior NNPC officials, led by Group Managing Director Funsho Kupolokun.
Nigeria has 187 tcf of proved gas reserves, and Yar'Adua's requirement of NNPC raises questions about supplies for future gas export projects. Nigeria currently utilizes 2,000 MW of power and wants to increase its power generation capacity to 12-15 GW.

An NNPC spokesman told that Nigeria would continue to honour its international commitments for gas supplies that have been set aside for export either as pipeline gas or LNG.
Local reports quoted Yar'Adua as saying "…we cannot begin to address, in a fundamental manner, the problems of the economy until we successfully tackle the power and energy issue. It is critical to all my plans. So I am more interested in how much gas we can tap for domestic use than what we can get for export. We must power this economy."

Criminal activities in the Niger Delta have cut oil production by almost a quarter, with production shut-ins in May reaching a high of nearly 1 mm bpd and averaging more than 800,000 bpd for the month.
Yar'Adua has stressed that it is his priority to deal with these criminal activities through development in the region and enforcement of the law. Meanwhile he will consult the National Assembly and stakeholders on the intervention plan.

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