OpeOluwani Akintayo 13 September 2017, Sweetrude, Lagos -Demand for natural gas is steadily growing in Nigeria and will soon overtake that of oil, experts have said.
The experts said the demand for gas is being driven by the need to utilise the for electricity generation in order to help the country meet growing power demand.
This is according to a study conducted on Nigeria’s developing local gas market by the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law, University of Ibadan.
Experts have in recent times argued for the development of natural gas in the world with the phrase “gas is the new oil”.
According to the university, the world is gradually moving to the end of the oil age, as exemplified in international oil companies like Shell and Chevron making major buys into the natural gas business.
The study argued that natural gas is the fuel of choice for power generation in part because of its lower carbon intensity compared to coal and oil.
According to the study, the government should invest in the liquefaction technology, saying that it will make natural gas available throughout the country.
It then allayed government’s fear of having to commit fresh huge sums into developing natural gas, saying Nigeria already had in place the essential elements for the rapid growth of the gas market.
The study then made a forecast saying it sees the emergence of a regional gas pricing hub as the physical and virtual transportation and distribution networks grow.
In another development, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has expressed worry that despite the significant natural gas reserves, the country was yet to fully benefit from her natural gas endowment.
Speaking at a liquefied petroleum gas sensitisation workshop, the DPR Director, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, said though Nigeria is blessed with natural gas reserves, utilisation of gas in the domestic sector haas been grossly inadequate.
“Nigeria has significant natural gas reserves, estimated at 192 Trillion Cubic Feet, TCF, and currently, ranks ninth in the world.
“Despite this abundant reserve base, its utilisation in the domestic sector is grossly inadequate and the country is yet to fully benefit from her natural gas endowment”, Ladan said.
He maintained that use of liquefied petroleum gas, also known as cooking gas, was essential for the reduction of deforestation and air pollution, and for promotion of clean energy usage and healthy population growth.