The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to expand its domestic gas footprint with the delivery of the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) II to double capacity from 1.1 billion standard cubic feet of gas to 2.2 BSCF.
A statement by its Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Samson Makoji, in Abuja, said the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mele Kyari, spoke on the expansion at the fourth sub-Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (SAIPEC) in Lagos.
A report by Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) has also noted that investors in the oil and gas industry are awaiting the outcome of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), especially the clarity of its fiscal terms.
Speaking on the theme: “Oil and Gas as an Enabler for Economic Transformation in Sub Saharan Africa,” Kyari stated that the NNPC would commence the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline in the second quarter of 2020 to serve as an enabler to further boost economic activities of the country.
Represented by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Gas and Power, Mr Yusuf Usman, Kyari explained that the recent passage of the Deep Offshore Act into law has set the industry on the path of irreversible growth.
According to him, Nigeria as Africa’s leading exporter of LNG and the fourth in the world after Qatar, Australia and Malaysia, is ready to capture more LNG market with the Final Investment Decision of the NLNG Train 7.
He said most resource dependent nations rely on their dominant natural resource to drive other key economic initiatives and activities, noting that it is true of Nigeria and many other countries represented at the conference.
He explained that the connection between the oil and gas industry and the Nigeria economy was intricate, adding that the state of every aspect of the nation’s economic and social life revolves around hydrocarbon resource.
Kyari called for more hard work to diversify the economy away from over dependence on oil revenues in order to avoid the risk of market fluctuations that may impact the nation’s fiscal equation.
He said: “Oil and gas resources have remained the major source of revenue that has kept the wheels of Nigeria moving for over five decades. Oil, as we all know, has served as key enabler to the economic transformation of many nations like Norway, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and many other oil resources dependent nations.
“The current government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has made it a priority to ensure revenues from oil and gas resources are utilised to support the emergence and growth of other non-oil sectors of the economy.
“In order to achieve this objective, it means more money will be required from the oil and gas to fund new economic projects outside the oil and gas industry,” the GMD stated.
He said the NNPC, as a national oil company, had been repositioned to support the vision of the president for economic diversification, adding that in the upstream, the corporation targeted increasing oil production from 2.3 million barrels per day to 3 million bbl/day.
He noted that the corporation was working with partners to significantly reduce production cost per barrel in order to improve the flow of the needed revenue to support economic diversification.
He said the NNPC was encouraging private investors to boost investment in oil and gas value chain as a way of creating more value and job opportunities for the nation’s teaming youths.
Kyari explained that Nigeria was still a net importer of petroleum products due to the current state of NNPC refineries and the long absence of private investment in the refining sector.
According to him, the NNPC is inviting investors to key into the revamp and expansion of domestic refining capacity in order to support the growth of the downstream sector and guarantee energy security for the nation.
“We are progressing with the establishment of condensate refineries to fast-track domestic supply of petroleum products. In the same vein, the corporation would support the actualisation of the 650Kbbl/day Dangote Refinery, as well as other private initiatives along this line. Our plan is for Nigeria to become a net exporter of petroleum products by 2023,” Kyari noted.
He said that NNPC was leveraging technology and innovation to achieve the goal of building an energy company of global excellence.
The GMD implored all stakeholders to collaborate with the corporation in an atmosphere that is beneficial to all and emplaces Nigeria on the path of growth and development.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), Mr. Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, called for deeper regional integration among African countries to boost the continent’s economic activities.