By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—THE Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has expressed worry that despite the significant natural gas reserves, the country was yet to fully benefit from her natural gas endowment.
The DPR Director, Mr. Mordecai B. N. Ladan, made his feelings known yesterday, while flagging off the establishment’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, sensitization workshop in Owerri.
“Nigeria has significant natural gas reserves, estimated at 192 Trillion Cubic Feet, TCF, and currently, ranks ninth in the world. Despite this abundant reserve base, its utilization in the domestic sector is grossly inadequate and the country is yet to fully benefit from her natural gas endowment”, Ladan said.
It was the considered opinion of the DPR boss that LPG is essential for the reduction of deforestation, air pollution, promotion of clean energy usage, as well as to facilitate healthy population growth.
Explaining the reason for convening the workshop, Ladan said it was to through more light on the safe handling and usage of gas, especially at the plants and private homes.
While expressing great concern at the number at the number of accidents at LPG plants, Ladan however opined that majority of the accidents could be traced to non-compliance of the Standard Operating Procedures, SOP.
Welcoming the participants earlier, the Zonal Operations Controller, ZOC, Ogbuefi Morrison Nwokedi, said that in its quest to eliminate accidents at LPG plants and restore public confidence in the use of the product, developed new guidelines.
“The Department has granted approval for the construction of new LPG depots in Calabar and Port Harcourt, with storage capacities of 3,000 and 9,000 metric tonnes respectively. These depots, which are expected to be operational before the end of 2017, shall increase the LPG storage Nationwide”, Nwokedi said.