Nigeria may face gas scarcity from 2009

Sep 07, 2006 02:00 AM

With capacity of gas supply to meet effective demand trailing by not less than 50 %, if the current rate of gas exploration in Nigeria is sustained, the country will face severe gas deficit from 2009, petroleum experts have stated.
The Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) said with the estimate of Nigeria's gas reserves standing at about 173 tcf of gas and the short-, medium- and long term demand for gas standing at about 160 tcf a deficit seriously threatens.

Engr. Austin Avuru, President of NAPE who presented the association’s statement said the age-long myth of Nigeria having so much gas and not knowing what to do with it has been voided by this reality.
"Nigeria's gas reserve currently stands at about 173 tcf of gas and the short-, medium- and long term demand already on ground for Nigeria's gas stands at no less than 160 tcf. Given that during gas production, no less than 30 % of the reserves will be lost as associated gas, it is clear that if an intensive searchfor gas does not begin we may run out of gas around 2009," he said.

"If we do not actively begin to explore for more gas reserves, we may actually have a shortage. The NLNG Trains 1 to 6 have been filled but the trains 7 and 8 have not. So to fill them we must encourage and begin active gas exploration in the country," he added.
The NAPE statement explained that the reality of the gas situation in Nigeria had resulted in the formation of gas teams both within and across multinational companies in the oil and gas industry, with the objective of building capacity of players in the industry to tackle the impending gas challenge.

The association however stated that the gap between the potential gas market and the gas resources currently been flared lied in the lack of facilities and infrastructure to transform the gas to forms in which it can be utilized.
"The gap between people who are looking for gas and those who have excess gas and are carrying out routine flare is infrastructural lapse. However, the driver for building infrastructure is the price for which the gas will be sold. If the gas will not be sold at competitive prices, which will enable investors get good returns for their investment there may be no incentive to invest in these gas infrastructure and facilities," it said.

NAPE however commended the federal government's efforts towards fortifying the price of gas by working on a gas pricing framework that will give producers the adequate incentive and encouragement to produce gas. Commenting on the Federal Government's Local Content policy and how effective it has been, NAPE said it was an important policy to all Nigerians. It stated that the import of the policy has informed its choice as the major topic for deliberation at the association's pre-conference workshop, which will take place on the 17th of October.
"The workshop will deliberate on local content, capacity building and utilization in the gas industry in Nigeria. The theme of this year's pre-conference workshop is Nigeria Content: Capacity Building and Utilization.”

The association also announced the theme of its 2006 International Conference, scheduled to be held at the Abuja Sheraton Hotel in November, as Exploration Trends and the New Gas Challenge.

Source: This Day
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