Nigeria's gas reserves life index stands at 79 years, says DPR

Jul 28, 2015 12:00 AM

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has stated that Nigeria's gas reserves of 188 trillion cubic feet (TCF) would be exhausted within 79 years from January 1, 2015.

Speaking at a recent meeting of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) in Lagos, DPR's Deputy Director in charge of Gas Monitoring and Regulation, Mr. Antigha Ekaluo noted that 52 per cent of Nigeria's gas is Associated Gas (AG), while 48 per cent is Non-Associated Gas (NAG).

On the distribution of the gas reserves on terrain basis, Ekaluo further stated that swamp accounts for 28 per cent of the gas; deepwater (12 per cent); offshore (three per cent); while land accounts for the remaining 30 per cent.

Also explaining the distribution of the gas reserves by contract type, the DPR Deputy Director said indigenous producers accounted for 13 per cent of the gas; marginal fields (two per cent); Production Sharing Contract (12 per cent) and Joint Venture (73 per cent).

According to him, Nigeria ranks 7th in the world and Number One in Africa in gas reserves base.

While disclosing that gas potentials exist in inland basins - Benue Trough, Borno and Anambra, Ekaluo stated that out of the 188TCF reserves figure, some volumes are stranded, stressing also that natural gas accumulation mainly concentrated in the Niger Delta Basin.

He also stated that substantial discoveries have been made in the deep offshore area; while all natural gas discoveries were incidental to exploration for crude oil as no deliberate efforts had been made to explore for gas.

Citing the United States Geological Survey, Ekaluo said Nigeria's gas reserves endowment may be up to 600Tcf.

He identified the factors militating against gas development in Nigeria to include inadequate capital expenditure and operational expenditure, which he said was stifling growth of gas infrastructure; immature/sub-commercial domestic market; disincentive fiscal terms - high risk, low return and absence of robust legislative and commercial framework for gas.

Ekaluo described stranded gas as gas that is available but not developed due to economic & physical constraints; gas reserves in remote fields un-economic for monetisation and Associated Gas Reserves without Gas Gathering Systems.

He said the country's oil and gas resources needed to grow the gas resource base aggressively to catalyse growth of the wider national economy.

According to him, a strategic framework for gas monetisation across the gas value chain for a wholly competitive, market-driven domestic gas sector is being implemented.

To realise this aspiration, the DPR Deputy Director stated that the industry and the government should facilitate competitive fiscal terms/pricing for gas; facilitate third party access to stranded gas and also adopt new technologies geared towards harnessing stranded gas - Floating LNG (FLNG) and Mini Plants, among others.

He also called for the deepening of the market penetration and sustenance of the demand growth; while stakeholders vigorously pursue the completion of Gas Gathering/ utilisation projects'

Ekaluo also recommended that the industry should pursue alternative funding model for gas infrastructure projects; while government addresses gaps in regulatory & commercial frameworks across the gas value chain.

"Nigeria is endowed with abundant gas resources and the sector holds huge potentials for unprecedented growth. The existing legal and regulatory framework, written primarily for oil does not provide robust technical and commercial framework for gas. There is therefore the need to pass the PIB into law, which will underpin the ongoing sector reforms. The Gas Sector Policies will provide Nigeria with the opportunity to harness and get maximum value from its Stranded Gas Resources. Effective Gas Sector development is a catalyst for growth and will have a multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy," he explained.

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