Nigeria seeks expansion of country’s gas market
Nigeria may not be feeling the pinch of United States’ decision to dump the country as a major supplier of crude oil, as India has since stepped in as a replacement.
The Coordinator, Corporate Planning and Strategy, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Tim Okon, said in Moscow, Russia at the on-going 21st World Petroleum Congress, WPC, that China and some Asian countries, including Malaysia are among serious buyers of Nigeria’s crude oil.
Until the recent discovery of shale oil as an alternative source of energy, the United States of America remained for decades the largest importer of Nigeria’s crude.
The country’s import volume from Nigeria has in recent months drastically reduced to about 250,000 barrels per day, BPD, only.
India, on the other hand, has now raised its demand capacity by about 30 per cent, of Nigeria’s 2.5 million barrels daily production.
The implication is that India imports an average of about 750,000 BPD of its daily crude oil demand from Nigeria.
Mr. Okon, who also doubles as the Director of Transformation of the NNPC, explained that Nigeria would, however, not ignore any market in its quest to remain competitive in the global oil and gas industry.
“Asia is important and in that respect Nigeria has regards for all markets. The important thing is to make sure that the country was selling the products that it has and not ignore any market,” he said.
Nigeria, he said, was participating in the WPC to access global business opportunities in the petroleum industry, especially in the gas sub-sector, to enable the country position itself as a major competitor in the hydrocarbon market.
As a natural resource rich country, Mr. Okon said Nigeria was working hard to do a better job in developing such resources and translating them to the wider economy.
Noting that the country did not have a preferred market for its products, Mr. Okon however admitted that the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, currently before the National Assembly needed to be passed into law as soon as possible to enable the country maximize its full potentials in the oil and gas industry.
“I cannot talk about future incentives if the principal law that would give birth to it has not been passed. But I want to say that the general intention is that Nigeria must compete in the market place.
“Therefore, the country’s fiscal systems were designed to be competitive to lead to good outcomes for the country,” Mr. Okon stated.
He underscored the significance of getting the law in place early enough, saying how helpful it would be if that was done in a timely manner.
Many of the countries that were trying to get new legislations passed like Ghana, Brazil, Mozambique and even Uganda, he said, have all done so, except Nigeria.
Nigeria’s participation at the 2014 WPC is anchored on the theme: Harnessing Nigeria’s Gas Resources for Sustainable National and Regional Development.