From Adewale Sanyaolu, Abuja
Despite the nation’s undiscovered gas potential of 600 trillion Cubic Feet(TCF )the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said about $51 billion investment opportunities exist in the midstream and downstream gas sector .
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, made this disclosure while delivering a key note address at the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) 10th International Conference and Exhibition in Abuja.
Baru in his paper titled “New Growth Phase for Gas Business in Nigeria, posited that about $35.4 billion investment will be required in the gas exploration and production activities, power plants projects, fertilizer plants, virtual pipelines and flare gas commercialization initiatives.
The GMD added that $16 billion investment will also be needed in the Free Trade Zones (FTZ) infrastructure development and concessioning, port infrastructure, central gas processing facilities, gas transmission, LPG plants, real estate development, pipe milling and local fabrication yards among others.
He stated that some of the key enablers that will be required for the growth of the gas sector include clear definition of boundaries between upstream, midstream and downstream sectors, appropriate pricing structure and guarantees for payment, host communities engagement and conducive environment for investors.
“Beyond growing gas for power sector, there has been a strategic positioning of the sector to support massive gas based industrialization. The intent is to position Nigeria as a regional hub for gas based industries such as fertilizer, methanol, petrochemicals, central processing facilities, etc. The first of this effort is the planned 30 square kilometer gas based industrial park in Delta State. This will be Africa’s largest purpose built gas park supporting gas based industries,” Baru said.
According to him, to bridge the huge gas supply gap, some strategic synergy opportunities for gas development were identified amongst the Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and independent operators which when pursued and implemented will not only bridge the unforeseen long term shortfall in gas supply but will also enable the nation to meet its gas aspiration.
The NNPC helmsman noted that seven key big bang gas development projects have been identified from the strategic synergy opportunities to deliver about 3.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day to bridge the foreseen medium term supply gap by 2020.