By MICHAEL EBOH
Nigeria’s potential of generating about 2.26 million metric tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas annually will never by achieved, unless the country addresses the issue of infrastructure deficit and lack of access to finance by players in the oil and gas sector.
This was the stand of professionals in the petroleum sector, under the aegis of Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, NAPE. NAPE, in a statement at its ongoing annual international conference and exhibition in Lagos, also declared that the attainment of the country’s Vision 20:2020 objective can only be achieved with a stable power supply, with gas production playing a critical role.
The statement presented by Mr. Mustapha Jibrin, further said that recent gas discoveries in other parts of Africa, was negatively affecting Nigeria’s natural gas potential and its competitiveness.
It said, “The competitiveness of Nigeria’s natural gas and the numerous opportunities to monetize it would be impacted by recent discoveries of large reserves of gas in other parts of Africa, especially offshore East Africa, as well as huge exploitations of shale gas in different parts of the world.”
Speaking in the same vein, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources, declared that Nigeria is coming under extreme competitive pressure from its African neighbours.
According to Allison Madueke, who was represented by Mr. Austin Olorunshola, a Director at the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Nigeria’s reporting of new giant oil and gas discovery by Nigeria’s African neighbours and the discovery of shale gas globally is a major challenge to the Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
She further disclosed that lack of commercial discovery of oil in the Chad basin is becoming a cause of concern for the sector.
She, however, allayed fears that the non-discovery of oil in commercial quantity will affect the country negatively in the long run, saying, “the lack of activity in the Chad basin is not a signal of lack of prospectivity.”
Also speaking, Mr. Andy Yakubu, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, maintained that the security challenges experienced in some parts of the country have contributed in slowing down the level of progress in production activities.