By Daniel Alfred
NIGERIAN Gas Association (NGA), has noted with great interest the progress made so far to accelerate implementation of the gas master plan.
This is coming just as the Association also stated that its programs and activities for the year 2010 would be aimed at facilitating solutions through itâ€™s advocacy programs and initiatives to fill skill gaps in the gas industry.
The acceleration of the master plan is among other things expected to bring about the establishment of the strategic gas aggregate to help fast-track price for power, thereby bringing it closer to economic price parity for gas supply.
The President Nigerian Gas Association, Engr Charles .A. Osezua said this at a press conference held in Lagos last week.
According to him, The progress not withstanding, still has significant challenge in achieving alignment among the independent parties involved in the gas delivery for power,Â as the agreed strategies for gas supply in some instance are not being implemented.
â€œWe risk or indeed have a situation where we have power generating capacity without gas and the availability of gas for delivery without an off-take. Similarly we still have divergent opinion on gas value maximisation and pipeline qualityÂ for power, custody transfer point for domestic gas supply and have responsibility for developing critical infrastructure to link gas to the consumer. He said.
He added that commercial issues such as gas sales purchase agreement are still notÂ in place even where the construction of the plants and other infrastructure has reached an advanced stage.
â€œWith great concern inÂ the limited domestic capacity for project execution by indigenous contractors and trained manpower in the industry, particularly in the light of the emerging local content bill, it is pertinent to mention that natural gas which is the most efficient fossil fuel with a high potential of interacting with renewableÂ fuels,Â provides a solid bridge to the coming generation of sustainable energy sources.â€
â€œHowever, without a shared understanding of what is needed to enable the gas industry to develop national, regional and trans-national market; the fullÂ economic and environmental benefit of the amazing fuel are seriously challenged. NotÂ withstanding, we still have significant challengesÂ in achieving alignment among the independent parties involved in gas delivery for power, while theÂ agreed strategies for gas supply in some instances are not being implemented.â€
â€œOur position is that these issues need to be resolved urgently for the orderly development of the industry and for the nation to achieve itâ€™s aspiration of adequate gas supply to fuel the economy and meet the nationâ€™s short /medium term power requirements.
In view of this,Â the NGA program and activities for the year 2010 is aimed at facilitating solutions through itâ€™s advocacy programs and initiatives to fill skill gaps in our industry.â€ Osezua noted.
He further said that the Nigerian Gas Associationâ€™s Gas industry training series is an initiative being put in place by the association with the aim of meeting the skilled gas presently existing within the gas segment of the oil and gas industry.
In order words, there is a yawning need to train Nigerian players in the gas industry to enable them acquire many of the skills and the competencies required for them to seize the many opportunities that the opening up of the Nigerian gas industry will bring.
â€œPresently, many of the training opportunities available to players in the industry are either organised abroad, or are made available by organisations based abroad, with the attendant higher costs and we are making all effort to bring this training opportunities closer home by using the various experienced, high-level resource persons within the Nigerian oil and gas industryâ€.
â€œThe 2010 curricula of the NGA training series will run across many of the key areas of the Nigerian gas industry, ranging from the industry basics, to gas value chain analysis and appreciation, gas industry commercial constructs and agreements, technical subject issue and many more. In this very first training, weÂ expect the series program to take place by the third quarter of this year and also considering partnering with respected organisations in the areas of business training, with specific emphasis on the oil and gas industry.â€ He said.
Consequently, the reports of the study panel and independent opinion of their consultants which was carried out at the instance of the acting president, for the NGA to advise government and his office on the draft PIB to ensure the realisation of the nations aspiration has been received. Accordingly, the schedule for the third quarter of 2010, an NGA presidential forum on the gas industry has been made.