BY MICHAEL EBOH
Nigeria’s crude refining capacity is expected to increase by end 2013, as the Federal Government, Tuesday, said the Turn-Around Maintenance of the Port-Harcourt refinery will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2013.
The Federal Government also disclosed that work on the Kaduna and Warri Refineries is expected to be concluded by the fourth quarter of 2014, while it said plans are on-going to link Abuja and the Northern part of the country with gas pipelines by 2015.
Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources, who disclosed this during the presentation of the ministry’s mid-term score-card at the 2013 Ministerial Platform, further stated that the petroleum sector, over the last couple of months, has witnessed great strides in the drive towards repositioning the nation as a gas exploration and production country.
According to her, the on-going gas revolution has brought about a significant improvement in gas to power supply for electricity generation up to five gigawatts, GW, establishment of commercial framework for gas, massive development of gas infrastructure across the country and the stimulation of gas-based industrialisation with the Ogidigben Gas City in Delta State as the flagship project with a capacity to create 100,000 jobs at the construction stage.
She said, “Nigeria with gas reserves of 182 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) as at the end of 2012 compared with total crude oil reserves of 36.8 billion barrels for the same period is more of a gas country than a crude oil country and that the global shift to the use of gas as a cleaner energy makes the emphasis on gas development as directed by President Jonathan an imperative action for sustainable long term economic development of the country.”
She noted that the massive gas infrastructure development across the country is aimed at getting gas to industries, adding that Abuja and the Northern part of the country will be linked with gas pipelines for rapid industrialization by 2015.
She listed some of the completed and ongoing gas infrastructure projects to include Escravos-Oben Pipeline, expansion of Oben-Lagos Pipeline, Calabar-Ajaokuta and Ajaokuta-Kano Pipeline Systems among others.
Allison-Madueke, however, explained that the transformation into a gas nation is being harnessed with huge achievements in the crude oil sector where production has been sustained at an optimal level in spite of the crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism challenge.
She said, “In line with the national aspiration to grow crude oil reserves to 40 billion barrels and production to 4 million barrels per day, a total of 19 exploration wells were drilled comprising of 8 in the JV and 11 (3 Exploration and 8 Appraisal wells) under the PSC; 93 development wells were drilled comprising of 55 under JV and 38 under PSC; and 33 workover wells were also drilled consisting of 32 under JV and one in PSC in the period under review.
“Aggressive seismic and exploratory work is currently going on in the 9 inland basins with preliminary results indicating the presence of hydrocarbon in the Anambra and Chad Basins.”
She stated that massive pipelines and inland depots rehabilitation has also been carried out with long moribund Kaduna – Suleja, Kaduna – Gusau, Suleja – Minna, Kaduna – Jos and Jos – Gombe pipelines and adjoining depots now operational, besides the Aba and Benin depots that had earlier been commissioned.