The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)has identified Seven Critical Gas Development Projects (7CGDP) scheduled to deliver about 3.4 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day on an accelerated basis to bridge a projected medium term supply gap by 2020. Delivering the Oil Industry address at the annual Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Oloibiri lecture series, Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru who was represented by Bello Rabiu, Chief Operating Officer in charge of the Upstream Directorate of the NNPC,disclosed that the 7CGDP would be executed aggressively on a sustained level.
The 7CGDP include:development of the 4.3 Trillion cubic feet (TCF) Assa North/Ohaji South field, development of the 6.4 TCF Unitized Gas fields (Samabri-Biseni, Akri-Oguta, Ubie-Oshi and Afuo-Ogbainbri) and the development of 7TCF NPDC’s OML 26, 30 &42. Others include; development of 2.2TCF Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC) JV Gas Supply to Brass Fertilizer Company, cluster development of 5 TCF OML 13 to support the expansion of Seven Energy Uquo Gas Plant and the cluster development of 10 TCF Okpokunou/Tuomo West (OML 35& 62) He said that the anticipated rise in domestic gas demand to about 7bscfd which is envisaged to outpace gas supply development trajectory necessitated the urgency for NNPC to identify short, medium and long term gas resources to bridge the huge supply gap. He announced that when fully implemented, the projects would enable the nation meet its aspiration of delivering gas to support 15,000MW power generation and position Nigeria as a regional hub for gas based industries (Petrochemicals, Chemicals, Methanol, Fertilizer, etc.). Speaking directly on the theme of the Oloibiri lecture, entitled: “The Nigerian Oil Industry in a World of Changing Energy Supply: Are We Prepared?”, the GMD noted that the strategy of the corporation includeddiversification from Oil using Nigeria’s enormous gas resources for in-country industrialization viz: Gas to Power, Gas to Urea, Methanol, and Fertilizers etc. He said this had the potential to accelerate growth of the economy and mitigate the impacts of future oil price drops. Dr. Baru explained that the strategy involved one of the most aggressive gas reforms and implementation drive, requiring accelerated implementation of gas pipeline infrastructure developmentwith specific focus on critical pipeline infrastructure to power plants. As a pointer, the GMD noted that between 2010 and today, almost 500km of pipelines had been completed, commissioned and now delivering gas. He said some of the completed pipelines included the Oben-Geregu (196km), Escravos-Warri-Oben (110km), Emuren-Itoki (50km), Itoki-Olorunshogo (31km), Imo River-Alaoji (24km), Ukanafun-Calabar pipeline (128km). ‘’With these, all available power plants in the country today are connected to permanent gas supply pipelines,’’ he said. He also said in addition, there was ongoing construction of the strategic East-West OB3 pipeline (127km) scheduled for completion by Q3 2018, the expansion of the Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline System scheduled for completion by Q1 2018. ‘’Most recently, the Federal Executive Council approved the contract award of the 40-inch by 614Km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline and associated facilities. This pipeline is expected to supply natural gas to power plants and industries in the northern part of the country,’’ he said Dr. Baru explained that once completed, the nationwide backbone gas infrastructure would be in place and with the prevailing effort in infrastructure development, NNPC would have expanded supply capacity, establishing an integrated gas pipeline infrastructure grid across the entire country. The NNPC GMD said that with the growth in infrastructure, gas, hitherto inaccessible and flared,was now being utilized. He emphasized that Nigeria had seen the most aggressive drop in gas flaring from a peak of 2500mmcf/d few years ago to about 700mmcf/d currently and reducing. He projected that in the next few years, the country would have stopped routine flaringfrom all the gas producers. Earlier in his keynote address, the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, who was represented by his Senior Technical Adviser, Mr. Johnson Awoyemi, charged oil industry stakeholders to brace up for the changes ahead. Similar counsel was proffered by Engr. Chika Nwosu, Nigeria Council Chairman of SPE, who charged industry operators and policy makers to note the popular aphorism that ‘’The stone age did not end because mankind ran out of stones’’. He warned that the world may not wait for the oil barrels to dry up before moving to other sources of energy. Dr. Rabiu Suleiman, Senior Technical Adviser to the HMSPR on Refineries and Downstream Infrastructure, in a paper presented at the eventre-iterated the need for the industry to collaborate on the challenges ahead.
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