*Stresses need for diversification into gas
Lagos — As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and progressive decline in Crude oil prices in 2020 continues to bite harder, Minister for States Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has revealed that the country for a possible lower-for-longer crude oil price era.
He stressed this in his keynote address at the 2020 Businessday Energy Series’ Fuel of the Future (Gas) Summit themed “Nigeria at 60: Harnessing Nigeria’s Energy Potential for the Future.”
The Minister while speaking, said it imperative for Nigeria to aggressively pursue the development of non-oil economy and diversification of revenue sources in line with current world reality of low crude oil prices.
“The Government is factoring in these current realities in its reform agenda”, he said.
According to him, government’s efforts will continue to focus on gas to transmute Nigeria from the conventional dependence on white products for prime movers to a cleaner, more available, accessible, acceptable, and affordable energy use in gas.
This, according to him, will not only cushion the effects of current deregulation but also create enormous job opportunities for Nigerians.
“The proposed PIB now before the National Assembly when passed into law will also unlock several midstream gas opportunities to further enhance domestic gas utilization”, he said.
Mr. Sylva explained that the government is currently developing strategic survival measures to ensure economic sustainability and job security, adding that all these will be anchored on energy availability, accessibility, and security.
“Let me assure you that we have come to terms with the application of domestic gas as a platform to drive a truly sustainable economic diversification.”
Towards economic diversification, he said in January 2020, the National Gas Expansion Committee, NGEP was launched to spearhead the adoption and use of natural gas products like Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, Compressed Natural Gas, CNG, and Liquefied Natural Gas, LPG to fuel all prime movers across the length and breadth of Nigeria, as an alternative to carbon-heavy fossil fuels like Premium Motor Spirit, PMS and, Automotive Gas Oil, AGO.
“This has become imperative in the light of the full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector in Nigeria and since natural gas offers a cheaper and cleaner fuel, we expect that the massive adoption of its use in Nigeria will cushion the effect of transiting the nation into a no-subsidy petroleum products consumption era”.
“More so, the abundance of natural gas resources in Nigeria has made this initiative a low-hanging fruit ready to be harvested”.
According to him, these transformations initiatives clearly indicate that natural gas is poised to play a significant role, as the dominant future primary energy source for use in Nigeria in the medium to long term.