17 March 2015, Lagos – The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has given an assurance to industry stakeholders that passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly will not affect the implementation of the Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code (NGTNC).
NGTNC is a contractual framework between transporter (or network operator) and network users (known as shippers) that provides open competitive access to existing and future gas transportation infrastructure.
Speaking at a recent gas forum in Lagos, Head of Gas Division at DPR, Mr. Antigha Ekaluo said the idea to establish the NGTNC was conceived by the federal government to regulate and control the operation of gas pipelines.
He noted that successful transportation of gas for power generation and other domestic use required a set of rules governing the quantity and quality of gas to be injected into the network and eventually used in the domestic market.
Ekaluo explained that the PIB made specific provision for the implementation of NGTNC in the development of Nigeria’s natural gas for both domestic use and export.
He also explained that the network code has provision to address existing relationship between gas distributors and customers.
“NGTNC will survive the implementation of the PIB. The PIB is not coming to knock off the network code because the bill made specific provision for the code. Existing gas distribution agreement will not be knock out rather, there is a law in the code for gas distributor to migrate successfully into the network code without any lose,” he said.
While some of the Stakeholders at the event threw their weight behind the full implementation of the Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code, others raised concern over the monopoly of the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC).
Good will messages from Shell Petroleum Development Company, Chevron, Addax Petroleum and Niger Delta Power Holding Company showed their support for the implementation of the network code.
However, some off-takers were concerned over the dominant role of the NGC and the NNPC in the gas market.
On its part, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria also called on DPR to intervene on the currency to be used to purchase gas, stressing that Nigeria currency should be used against the current trend of foreign currency (dollar) in the transaction.
Some gas suppliers on the other hand are concerned over who will bear the financial cost in the event of gas shortage due to pipeline vandalism.
End-users of gas, especially power plant operators also want the DPR to sanction gas suppliers and shippers who inject off-spec gas into the network.
They lamented that most of their gas turbines have become faulty due to the supply of off-spec gas into the network, which has led to total shut down of their operation.
– This Day