CNL Denies Hindering Gas Access To NLNG

…Reiterates Supporting Growth In Nigeria

Yemisi Izuora

The Chevron Nigeria Limited, operator of the joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPC, has reiterated its commitment to continue to work with the Nigerian government towards the development of the oil and gas industry and the Nigerian economy generally.

The oil major also denied CNL, reports alleging that CNL is one of the partners hindering full operation of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas NLNG by not allowing the transportation of third-party gas through its pipelines to increase gas supply to the plant.

“CNL wishes to clarify that the statement must have been made in error as CNL is not one of the NLNG partners and is not part of the NLNG gas supplier system.”  said Esimaje

Brikinn, General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs of Chevron. Oriental had earlier reported that the Federal Government recently made appeal to oil majors to help cushion gas supply limitations to the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas, NLNG, which has in turn limited production capacity of the company.

This is because NLNG partners mainly consisting of major oil companies have refused to allow transportation of third-party gas through their joint pipelines to increase gas supply to the plant.

Thus NLNG has been unable to operate at full capacity following the refusal of the joint partners Shell, Chevron, NNPC and others, to allow third parties to transport gas through their pipelines to the NLNG Trains. This has been causing the company’s inability to meet both domestic and international gas obligations.

Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State Petroleum Resources, however, on Monday, April 4, 2022, in Abuja while having an audience with the new Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Sefano De Leo, appealed that they open access to allow more gas to the company.

According to a statement by his Senior Adviser (Media and Communications), Horatius Egua, the NLNG is at present only able to produce at about 70 per cent of installed capacity. Sylva said if the NLNG partners relaxed their rules and allowed third party to supply gas to the NLNG, the company would be able to provide gas to help ease European Union’s gas crisis.

“The issue we have with the existing NLNG Trains is that of insufficient gas supply. The partners are running out of gas and they are refusing third party to supply gas to the Trains. “The partners are insisting that they can only allow third party supply gas to the plant only if they agree to supply at subsidised rates.

“These people of course want to make money and they cannot supply at subsidised rates and that’s why the NLNG Trains cannot produce at fully capacity. “The partners can afford to supply at subsidised rates because they are partners in the NLNG project not the third parties. “This is a very critical issue I want to discus with the respective partners to see how we can resolve this problem so that we can increase the production capacity of the NLNG,” Sylva said.

The minister, who stressed the long-standing relations between Nigeria and Italy, also sought the cooperation of the Italian government in providing support for night helicopter rescue operations in the country.

He added that at the moment helicopters cannot fly in the night in Nigeria thus foreclosing any rescue operations at night. He said: “For us, this is a very important matter. We want to develop a 24 hours economy. We want a situation where helicopters can fly 24 hours in Nigeria.” In his response, De Leo stressed the importance of Nigeria in Africa and noted that as the continent’s most populous country, it would be difficult for anyone to ignore the country both at the political and economic front.

“At the moment, the EU wants to diversify its energy sources especially gas and Nigeria is very strategic to us. We have been long-standing friends and partners and one of the most important one for that matter. “So, we need to continue to dialogue on how things can be done properly.

In Africa, no country is more strategic than Nigeria because of its population, economy and political position. “So we are happy to work with you,” the ambassador further stated.

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