By Sebastine Obasi
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison‑Madueke, yesterday, said that the Federal Government is set to grow natural gas production to eight billion cubic feet per day, as well as sustain crude oil and condensate production at 2.388 million barrels per day.
The minister, represented by Mr. Emmanuel Bekee, a deputy director in the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, stated this at the three‑day Nigerian Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE, holding in Lagos.
She also said that in order to reduce gas flaring, supply to the domestic market was increased.
“As part of our strategy to reduce gas flare, supply to the domestic market grew to an all time high of 1,500 million cubic feet per day, of which about 70 per cent was deployed to the power sector and the balance in support of the manufacturing sector such as cement. This ultimately reduced our average gas flare to less than 12 per cent,” he she said.
According to the minister: “As part of our resilient effort to boost infrastructure development for gas supply, we have completed and commissioned 150 kilometres of pipeline Escravos‑Lagos expansion project and the remaining 250 kilometres section is in advanced stage of completion.
“Work has also commenced on the 120-kilometre East‑West OB3 gas pipeline, intended to boost gas supply to the power industry.
“We are continuing with the pilot compressed gas project in Benin with 2,500 cars, mostly taxis, now running on natural gas and many more being converted daily.”
She explained that the government wants to consolidate on the gas supply expansion with an additional 500 million cubic feet per day to support about 2,000 mega-watts of power generation, while continuing with the Ogidigben Gas Industrial Park designed to host fertiliser, petrochemical and methanol plants in Delta State.
“It is common knowledge that the oil and gas industry has been plagued with a plethora of challenges that have negatively impacted on our ability to meet national crude oil production target, loss of revenue to investors, environmental degradation and sometimes loss of lives. The most prominent among these is theft related vandalism leading to significant production deferments, theft and decline in revenue to the investors,” she added.