By Akpokona Omafuaire & Ochuko Akuopha, Warri
THE Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, NSChE, Edo/Delta States chapter, has told the Federal Government to initiate policies that would promote investments in natural gas production.
It also stressed the need for government to minimize gas flaring to the barest minimum in oil and gas production facilities by sourcing for competent and dependable partners abroad in order to maximize the benefit of the country’s abundant natural gas resources.
NSChE, in a communique issued at the end of a Hybrid (physical and virtual) workshop held at the Nigerian Gas Company Plc, Ubeji Road Ekpan, Delta State, noted that it was absolutely necessary to “monetize associated gas using Micro LNG (up to 0.05 mtpa) and Mini LNG (0.1 to 0.5 mtpa).”
The workshop paper titled ‘Natural Gas as a Catalyst to the Industrial Development of Nigeria’, which was delivered by Mark Tubotein Williams and moderated by the chapter’s Executive Secretary, Dr. E.O. Ohimor, examined the monetization options available to Nigeria’s 209.5 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves.
The paper noted that “Natural gas has increasingly become part of Nigeria’s energy mix but the process is very slow because current exploitation and production efforts are below 1 % of available gas reserves due to poor investments in the gas sector.
“In 2021 alone, Nigeria produced a total of 1450 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas which represents about 25% of EU’S Russian gas consumption in same year. The EU has decided to do away with Russian gas and looking for alternative sources of natural gas supply.
“It has become imperative for Nigeria to fully exploit her natural gas reserves to boost her economy and meet growing gas demand in the domestic and global markets.
“Nigeria can be industrialized with attendant creation of thousands of professional jobs if she adds value to its natural gas resources by employing a range of available technologies namely: gas to power, gas to compressed natural gas, CNG, gas to LNG, gas to liquids, GTL, gas to chemicals, gas to fertilizer, GTF, and gas to petrochemicals.”
“In fact, the economics of the conversion processes of natural gas into ammonia, methanol, dimethyl ether (DME), etc. are attractive enough to consider these natural gas by-products as real vehicles to monetize Nigerian gas reserves.”
The chapter stated that NICHEM Ventures, the business arm of NSChE may consider investing in the business of gas processing.
It called for the transmission of it’s recommendations to all presidential aspirants to serve as springboard for the implementation of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan and to formulate formidable policies to harness the huge gas resource.