Nigeria to Increase LNG export capacity by 20million tons per annum

Nigeria is to increase its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export capacity from the current 26million tons per annum (MTPA), with additional 20million tons through the proposed Brass LNG plant, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said.

The minister said at the weekend that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry has the potentials to alleviate the global energy supply challenges the world is currently facing if it is fully harnessed and developed to assume its natural role as a major strategic lever in the global economic and security space.

“Apart from building a gas-based domestic industry, through gas-to-power, petrochemical and fertilizer plants, the Federal Government intends to expand the country’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) capacity from the current 26illion tons per annum (MTPA), with additional 20 MTPA through the Brass LNG, whose final investment decision (FID) is fast approaching,” the minister said.

“Besides, Nigeria currently aspires to grow her crude oil reserves to 40 billion barrels and increase production capacity to 4 million barrels by 2020.
“The Nigeria deepwater and shallow offshore have shown to be highly prolific. With expansion of capacity by almost one million barrels per day over the next few years, Nigeria can significantly contribute to global supply additions and diversification, thereby alleviating the challenge of supply concentration around the Middle East.”

Mrs. Alison- Madueke, who made the observation in a presentation on “The Strategic Importance of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry to Global Security and World Global Economy, in Washington DC, United States, said in the years ahead, the country would strive to ensure that it contributed its quota towards realising this objective.

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According to the minister, with Nigeria’s hydrocarbon reserves estimated at over 37billion barrels of crude oil and 187 trillion cubic feet of gas, the country’s leadership role in the regional and continental spheres placed it in a position to “provide a low hanging mechanism to address global security challenges.

With energy in the heart of every economic, environmental and development issue, she said the oil and gas industry has become linked to global security and the economy, adding that current volatility and exceptionally high energy and commodity prices has exacerbated current global financial crunch and economic meltdown.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke noted that issues relating to rising energy demand as well as increasing concentration of supply, high oil and gas import bills, rapidly progressing climate change, food security and global terrorism have equally compounded the issues the world is facing.

Consequently, she maintained, the oil and gas industry has a cardinal role to play towards global economic stability and security, pointing out these called for “expansion and diversification of supply, a shift towards more cleaner fuels such as natural gas, leveraging of energy resources particularly in developing countries to fuel major domestic economic growth to forestall the vulnerability to terrorism or poverty.”

“It is against this backdrop that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry features as a major strategic lever in the global economic order and global security,” she added.

This, she maintained, is because the Nigerian petroleum supplies are strategically located in the heart of the Gulf of Guinea, one of the three most important future hydrocarbon regions of the world, after the Middle East and the Soviet Union, as well as the fact that its location is proximal to major consuming centers such as the USA and Europe.

“More importantly, it benefits from the absence of narrow ship maritime lanes, known as choke points, such as the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf or the Gulf of Suez. Preservation of these choke points has been responsible for some of the world’s most visible tensions,” she added.

Apart from developing the country’s oil wealth, Mrs. Alison-Madueke said the present administration was equally leveraging on the nation’s abundant gas reserves through massive gas infrastructure development to stimulate rapid domestic and regional economic growth and grow liquefied natural gas, LNG exports.

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