Sam Ikeotuonye 15 June 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Mr. Andrew Yakubu, group managing director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, says the Federal Government has now developed a good framework for domestic gas supply.
Yakubu said in Houston, Texas, United States, at the recent annual Offshore Technology Conference that the development is aimed at addressing the situation whereby the nation had huge natural gas reserves but had been unable to fully harness the potentials of the gas sub-sector for overall national development.
“We have a good framework now than what we had before. Are we there yet? No, we are not there yet. We are working with the relevant agencies to ensure that the right environment is there,” he stated.
The NNPC boss, who identified lack of commercial framework as a major challenge in the effort to push domestic gas supply in the country, stated that power sector operators have continually complained of gas shortages to feed their plants
“Gas investment is capital intensive. Commercial framework has been put in place and gas price is one major factor in the process today, because gas investment is demand driven.“
“Recall that power operators continually complain of gas shortages to feed their plants, thereby resulting in the very poor electricity supply that Nigerians have faced in the recent time,” he said.
He maintained that gas production has been on the rise in the last three years despite the challenges faced in the sector, as he disclosed that as at present, the NNPC has become the largest gas supplier in the country.
According to him, plans are afoot to jerk up NNPC’s output by 250 million standard cubic feet before the end of this year.
“Today, NNPC is the largest producer of gas for domestic use. We produce over 400 million standard cubic feet, and as we speak plans are underway to jerk it up by 250 million cubic feet by the end of the year.
Yakubu also spoke on government’s experience with multinational gas suppliers, saying the companies always cited unfair pricing and pipeline vandalism as the main obstacles to steady gas supply to power stations.