The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that in addition to Nigeriaâ€™s proven natural gas reserves of 182 trillion cubic feet (TCF), about 600 thousand cubic feet of undiscovered gas potential is still available for her to tap from.
NNPC said that with such gas potential available to Nigeria, the countryâ€™s hydrocarbon industry would remain competitive despite new hydrocarbon discoveries in Sub-Saharan African countries like Mozambique.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, stated at the just concluded 2014 edition of the Nigeria Oil and Gas conference and exhibition in Abuja that while Libya remained the only country with more crude oil reserves, Nigeriaâ€™s delta regions remains one of the most prospective areas in the world.
Yakubu spoke on Nigeriaâ€™s strategy to maintain its position as Africaâ€™s leading producer of crude oil at the conference. He noted the need to complement extant initiatives taken by stakeholders in the hydrocarbon industry to offset industry challenges with new strategies such as concrete solution on pipeline vandalism, improving the economics of small fields operations and new acreage management system.
Other production improvement strategies according to Yakubu included a paradigm shift in exploration, attraction of new capital investments into the industry and new oil exploration and production licensing rounds.
On the challenges of pipeline vandalism and economic of small fields operations, Yakubu explained that the establishment of a midstream regulator as proposed by the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will ensure appropriate cost recovery mechanisms for pipeline operators, at the same time yielding results in optimum investment in midstream infrastructure nationwide.
He said the use of production allowance from small fields will reduce the impact of taxation on their productions and equalise losses from large oil fields.
â€œAll of the strategies mentioned will reinforce our position as Africaâ€™s leading producer of oil. However, planned increases in oil production in the near and medium term will also result in the significant production of gas.
“Gas is a fuel for the future. It is environmentally friendly, the Niger Delta is considered a gas basin with potential of about 600TCF and gas is the key to our economic development through power and industrialisation,â€ Yakubu said.
Furthermore, he said: â€œNigeria expects to grow domestic gas consumption threefold from 1.7 billion cubic feet per day to 5.4 per day by 2019 with the implementation of the gas master plan, which aims to create a framework that delicately balances the dual objectives of domestic and export through a gas resource management plan for Nigeria.â€