04 July 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – THE board of Nigeria’s Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project says final investment decision (FID) on the venture will now happen in the first quarter of next year.
There were doubts about the two-train, 10 million metric tonnes per year (mmt/y) project earlier this year after American firm ConocoPhillips, one of the project promoters, pulled out of the deal in line with its decision to sell its Nigerian assets.
But, chairman of the board of Brass LNG Limited, Dr Jackson Gauis-Obaseki, has expressed optimism on the progress of the project, assuring also that contractual agreement for the supply of gas to Brass LNG will not be flouted by suppliers upon the project’s completion.
Addressing executive directors of the company on Tuesday at its eighth Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Abuja, Gaius-Obaseki said the FID is in view considering the near completion of all fundamental requirements to its eventual actualisation.
“In recent times, there have been speculations about the future of the project as induced by news in several media channels that ConocoPhillips (COP), which is one of our shareholders, plans to divest from Nigeria and, in effect, from Brass LNG Limited,” he said.
He continued: “In June 2010, there was a similar report that, I, in company of the other stakeholders, took COP to task and they assured that they would remain and be part of decisions to move the project forward. Following this assurance, the Invitation to Tender (ITT) was launched and this led to our choice of preferred tenderers.
“Again, when the news of their exit from Nigeria came on air, I, in company of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) nominated directors, met with COP executive management on the 27th of April 2012. Again, COP was palms up confirming their intention of a possible exit from Nigeria whilst committing to the realisation of that project through supporting it to FID.”
According to Gaius-Obaseki, ConocoPhillips has continued to show commitment to the Brass LNG and has recently approved a budget that would lead the project to FID.
The project promoters include the NNPC with a 30 per cent stake; Bayelsa State government with 10 per cent equity; LNG Japan, four per cent; Itochu Corporation, three per cent while a joint venture between Nigerian indigenous company Sahara Energy and France-based Sempra Energy holds two per cent.
Other stakeholders in the project include French firm, Total and Italian company Eni, which hold 17 per cent stake each. ConocoPhillips equally held a 17 per cent equity, prior to its decision to pull out of the project.