The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, disclosed this at a three-day National Conference on Gas Resources organised by the Senate Committee on Gas in Abuja.
A statement issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, on Monday, quoted the minister to have said that “by the end of the year, we will be commencing, via Public Private Partnership scheme, the nation’s longest pipeline from Calabar through Ajaokuta to Kano State.”
Alison-Madueke, who was represented by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, at the conference, stated that at present the Federal Government was constructing the strategic East-West pipeline while the Lagos end segment of the Escravos to Lagos Pipelines System was nearing completion.
She explained that almost 500km of new gas pipelines had been completed and commissioned including the doubling of the capacity of the EPLS between Escravos and Oben, as well as the extension from Oben to Geregu and River Imo to Alaoji respectively.
The minister said that by the end of 2018, the backbone pipeline infrastructure for gas would have been delivered and this would conclude an initial phase of over 2500km of gas pipeline infrastructure development.
She said that government was strategising to leverage on the full potential of gas to achieve massive impact on the economy and the national Gross Domestic Product.
Alison-Madueke said, “We are focused on jumpstarting gas supply to enable usage in gas to power, gas based industrialisation, compressed natural gas for transportation and commercial usage, cooking gas for domestic usage and regional pipeline for gas export.
She said a domestic gas supply obligation regulation which mandates a certain amount of gas supply for the domestic market pending the full maturation of the market has been introduced.
To boost investor confidence in natural gas in the country, she said government had reviewed the contractual framework for gas through the development of standardised gas supply agreements.
According to Alison-Madueke, the use of natural gas instead of petrol had translated into significant savings for over 4000 taxi drivers in Benin who are already using this alternative energy source.
The minister also noted that the Federal Government’s efforts at eliminating gas flaring was making significant impact as flare out rate dropped from 25 per cent to 11 per cent of production.
“Many of the International Oil Companies are fast approaching full flare out as the gas obligation and infrastructure growth have all combined to enable utilisation of hitherto flared gas,” she added.
Meanwhile, the NNPC boss in his address put the country’s current gas production at about 8.5 billion cubic feet per day.
He explained that of the total production, 3.5bcf/d (41 per cent) was exported; 2.3bcf/d (28 per cent) consumed domestically for power and industries; 1.2bcf/d (15 per cent) used in the upstream for gas re-injection; while the balance of 0.8bcf/d (10 per cent) was flared.
– The Punch