Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday disclosed that plans were ongoing to aggressively expand its domestic gas footprint with the delivery of the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) II to double capacity from 1.1billion standard cubic feet of gas (BSCF) to 2.2BSCF and the OB3 gas pipeline to connect East and the West.
The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mr Mele Kyari, made this known at the ongoing 4th Sub-Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (SAIPEC) in Lagos.
Speaking on the conference theme: “Oil & 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 Q2 2020 to serve as an enabler to further boost the economic activities of the country.
Represented by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Gas and Power, Engr. Yusuf Usman, Mallam Kyari stated that the recent passage of the Deep Offshore Act into law has set the Industry on the path of irreversible growth.
Kyari posited that Nigeria as Africa’s leading exporter of LNG and the 4th in the World after Qatar, Australia and Malaysia, was ready to capture more LNG market with the Final Investment Decision of the NLNG Train 7.
“Oil and gas resources have remained the major source of revenue that has kept the wheels of Nigeria moving for over five (5) 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,” Mallam Kyari submitted.
According to him, it is not a new story that most resource dependent nations rely on their dominant natural resource to drive other key economic initiatives and activities, noting that this is true of Nigeria and many other countries represented at the conference.
He informed that the connection between Oil and Gas Industry and the Nigeria economy was intricate, stressing that the state of every aspect of the nation’s economic and social life revolved around the 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.
“The current Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has made it a priority to ensure revenues from oil and gas resources are utilized 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.
Kyari said the NNPC, as a national Oil Company, had been repositioned to support the vision of Mr. President for economic diversification, even as he maintained that in the Upstream, the corporation targeted increasing oil production from 2.3million barrels per day to 3million bbl/day and at the same time working with partners to significantly reduce 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 join the train that traverses the oil and gas value chain to create more value and job opportunities for the nation’s teaming youths.
Kyari informed 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.
He said the NNPC was inviting investors to key into the revamp and expansion of domestic refining capacity in order to support the growth of the Downstream sector and guaranty 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 actualization 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,” Mallam Kyari enthused.
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, applauded Mallam Kyari for being a true friend of the Industry and called for deeper regional integration among African Countries to boost the Continent’s economic activities.
The highpoint of the 3-day conference was panel sessions, tour of the exhibition pavilions and presentation of Award of Excellence to Mr. Okoroafor by the representative of the GMD, Engr. Yusuf Usman.