The West African Gas Pipeline Company, WAGPCo, said it has opened its pipeline to be accessed by independent gas shippers to maximize the asset potential, which has remained underutilised for years.
The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, WAGPCo, Mrs. Harriet Wereko-Brobby, told journalists in Lagos last week that the management’s decision became imperative in order to enhance the facility usage.
Currently, the capacity of the pipeline is about 474 million standard cubic feet of gas, mmscf, but the contractual volume signed with the foundation customers is 134mmscf, which is about 170 million British thermal unit, Btu, leaving a balance of 340mmscf unused capacity.
By opening access to the pipeline, the company wants to encourage independent gas shippers to buy gas directly from producers in Nigeria, including, Shell, Chevron, Seplat, Total, and a host of others, which would be transported by WAGPCo to Togo, Benin Republic, and Ghana.
Expatiating on the terms, WAGPCo said such shippers would have to be registered and licensed, and must meet all the necessary requirements and standards set by the regulator, West African Gas Pipeline Authority, WAGPA.
Wereko-Brobby said: “What we have been doing is encouraging and working with our stakeholders, that is, those for whom we transport gas to enter into arrangement with the producers of that gas so that we would be able to fill our pipeline. Some of them in Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic, have started engaging with gas producers in Nigeria, trying to get contract memoranda of understanding, MoU, so that they would be able to get additional gas to fill our pipeline.
“At the same time we are continuing our engagement with those protecting our pipeline. We have had two forums; we brought together the stakeholders, experts from different organisations, naval forces, maritime and ports authorities from different countries. They all came together sat down and talked about what can be done and how to protect the pipeline. And they also indicated their interest in protecting the workers, giving instances of pirates that are not only dangerous to WAGPCo but also all the companies that have formations in the sea. So in the sub-region and even on the ECOWAS’ level, they have assured that it is a matter of highest priority to protect the pipeline and all the nations are collaborating to do that.
“We brought them together so that we can discuss not only the physical protection but any technological advancement that we can take advantage of. The success of WAGPCo is very important to ECOWAS. What they feel is that if WAGPCo succeeds, that means all other efforts for regional integration can succeed, so they are very interested in WAGPCo success as a way of making sure that we will have a framework for regional integration programme.