By Udeme Akpan
abuja—The National Petroleum Investment Management Services (a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation), Shell, Total and Agip – have disagreed over the selection of new gas projects for the $10 billion Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG trains 7 and 8.
Shell, Total and Agip – holding 25.6 per cent, 15 per cent and 10.4 per cent interests respectively in the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited with the NNPC that has 49 per cent interest had separately selected and presented many gas projects for development to NAPIMS for approval.
But at the ongoing engagement with the parties, NAPIMS, a partner in the Joint Venture (JV) assets and the concessionaire in the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) arrangements that manages the Federal Government interests in the oil and gas industry, faulted the selection, arguing that many of them should be implemented for domestic use in the nation.
Specifically, NAPIMS, which is also involved in the prosecution of state agenda, defining operational direction and spearheading new technology application in the industry, noted that the measure would go a long way to enable Nigeria provide commercial gas to operators in the power and other sectors of the nation’s economy.
A competent source, who confirmed the development said: “After taking a closer look at the planned gas projects, NAPIMS noted that many of them should be developed for local consumption.
“It is the opinion of NAPIMS that the nation’s energy needs or security should be secured first before meeting the needs and aspirations of foreign buyers through the extra trains of the LNG.
“Consequently, the partners of potential gas suppliers were directed to review their proposals and re-present them for approval as soon as possible.”
Investigations showed that the different companies have set up technical teams to re-work their proposals with the aim of re-presenting them to NAPIMS.
But the companies which officials have demonstrated strong commitment to the completion of the additional LNG trains, declined to provide details.
Spokesman of Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, Mr. Precious Okolobo, disclosed in a text message to Vanguard that: “operational updates will be duly communicated.”
Total, which officials are said to be committed to the project, did not respond to text enquiry at the time of writing this story.
The personnel of Agip were said to be holding a crucial meeting when our correspondent visited yesterday.
But an authoritative source indicated that as a company involved in exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas in 70 countries, Eni remained committed to the LNG project.
However, in its latest report, the NLNG Limited indicated that Nigeria LNG Limited was the most significant arrow-head of the federal government’s quest to eliminate gas flaring and derive value from the country’s 187 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves.
It disclosed that NLNG has converted about 119 Bcm (billion standard cubic metres) or 4.2 Tcf (trillion cubic feet) of Associated Gas (AG) to exports as LNG and Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs), thus helping to reduce gas flaring by Upstream Companies from over 60% to less than 25per cent.
The company stated that flares were only permitted in order to eliminate waste gas which cannot be converted to any further use. Flares also act as safety systems for non-waste gas and are released via pressure relief valves, when required, to ease the strain on equipment.
It disclosed that NLNG mops up gas that would otherwise be flared, thus making significant contributions to the nation’s income, delivering in the last thirteen years over USD13 billion in dividends.