BY ADEWALE SANYAOLU
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has given hints on how the country intends to grow its over 180 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of discovered gas.
The Minister made the disclosure at a recent meeting in Brussels where she told a gathering of other Energy Ministers from the European Union (EU) that the country equally has an additional 600tcf of undiscovered gas reserves.
The Minister explained that significant investment is planned to support expansion of the sector in the coming years. While increasing domestic power generation is a priority for the government, export capacity will also rapidly grow, particularly as new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects are completed.
She explained that the Federal Government has stated its resolve to support the long term gas supply security for EU countries as part of measures to expand the nation’s gas market across veritable frontiers, adding that the country is prime to explore its gas potentials to the fullest.
The Brussels meeting focused on the role Nigeria can play in supporting the EU’s energy sector priorities, and particularly the long-term security and diversification of gas supplies.
Alison-Madueke further highlighted that gas production has increased to over eight billion cubic feet per day, with Nigeria being the eighth largest gas producer in the world, and sixth largest gas supplier to Europe.
The Minister had earlier in her capacity as President of the OPEC Conference, highlighted the strength of the trade and energy relations between OPEC and EU countries, noting that OPEC countries supply the EU with over 30 per cent of annual oil consumption and nearly 20 per cent of annual gas demand.
She highlighted the role of OPEC in ensuring stability, transparency and predictability in the international oil markets, which is essential as the global economies recover and strengthen.
Alison-Madueke stated that in the long term, OPEC member countries will continue to play an essential role, and it is anticipated that they will provide as much as 11 million barrels per day (mbpd) out of the anticipated 18 mbpd of additional oil required to meet the expected worldwide demand growth by 2035.
To maintain growth and investment, the Petroleum Minister emphasised the importance of maintaining reforms in emerging economies, noting that one such reform in Nigeria is the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently before Nigeria’s National Assembly, which will change the face of the country’s petroleum operations and ensure they remain in line with international standards and best practices.
She noted that reform in the energy sector will support the longer term economic priorities of Africa’s largest economy, with significant investment planned in infrastructure, power generation, industry and agriculture, as well as in health and education services.
Source : SunOnline