The time catalog of Nigeria’s gas as at January 1, 2015 stood at 79 years, according to the United States Geological Survey, (USGS) which implies the length of time the nation’s current gas treasury could last.
Quoting the USGS, Engr. Benjamin Ekaluo, Head, Gas, at the Department of Pertroleum Resources, DPR, put Nigeria’s current natural gas reserves at 600 trillion cubic feet.
Ekaluo, who spoke at the just concluded Nigerian Gas Association, (NGA), annual general meeting in Lagos, explained that Nigeria’s natural gas accumulation is mainly concentrated in the Niger Delta Basin, noting that substantial discoveries have been made in the deep offshore while potentials exist inland in areas such as the Benue trough and the Anambra and Borno basins.
On the distribution of the gas by terrain, Ekaluo stated that as at January 1, this year, 28 percent of the nation’s gas reserves were on swamp, 12 percent in the deep water; 30 percent on land and 30 percent offshore.
He explained that gas reserves distribution by contract at January 1 showed 13 percent were with indigenous players, 2 percent from marginal fields, 12 percent from Production Sharing Contract, PSC, holders and 30 percent were with Joint Venture, JV, holders.
Just as the case with oil, Engr. Ekaluo said the nation’s aspiration in the gas sector is to grow gas resources aggressively, to catalyse growth of the wider national economy
To achieve this, he said, strategic framework was being implemented for gas monetisation across the gas value chain for a wholly competitive, market-driven domestic gas sector.
However, Ekaluo maintained that these gas resources had been stranded due to economic and physical constraints, adding that gas in remote fields were uneconomical for monetisation.
Other constraining factors against gas utilisation, according to him, include immature/sub-commercial domestic market; disincentive fiscal terms and absence of robust legislative and commercial framework for gas.
He admitted that while there were vast opportunities and high rewards for the development of the gas industry, threats also existed. “Nonetheless, plans are in place to transform these threats into opportunities. Nigeria is endowed with abundant gas resources and the sector holds huge potentials for unprecedented growth.
“The existing legal and regulatory framework, written primarily for oil does not provide robust technical and commercial framework for gas. There is therefore the need to pass the PIB into law, which will underpin the ongoing sector reforms.
“The Gas Sector Policies will provide Nigeria with the opportunity to harness and get maximum value from its stranded gas resources.
“Effective gas sector development is a catalyst for growth and will have a multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy,” Engr. Ekaluo said.