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By Lawani Mikairu

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva yesterday said Nigeria is relying on its natural gas to achieve energy transition to cleaner energy and reduced carbon emission.

Sylva revealed this while speaking as a Special Guest of Honour at the ongoing 45th Nigeria Annual International Conference & Exhibition ,NAICE, organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Nigeria Council in Lagos.

This year’s three days conference and exhibition with the theme, “Global Transition to Renewable and Sustainable Energy and the Future of Oil and Gas in Africa” has industry stakeholders and experts looking for ways to achieve quicker cleaner energy transition for African countries.

According to the Minister, ” the world is witnessing a turnaround in the global energy landscape and clamouring for transition to greener energy sources to reduce carbon emission. Hydrocarbon resources, especially natural gas has been recognized as the energy transition fuel for Nigeria.” 

He further said Nigeria has the most extensive gas resource in Africa with ” proven gas reserves of over 200 trillion cubic feet. It is envisaged that with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 in full implementation across the broad spectrum of the oil and gas industry, Nigeria is well positioned for a reformed oil and gas industry that could sustain the local demand for natural gas and a high export income.”

The Minister revealed that the campaign for reduced funding of fossil fuels explorations has led to a gale of divestment by the international oil companies in Nigeria. He therefore called on local investment in the country’s oil sector.

” I strongly believe that this is an opportunity for oil and gas exploration in the country because Nigeria’s independent producers have developed capacity to fill-in the gap.”, he said.

Earlier in his address, the Minister congratulated the leadership and members of the Society of Petroleum Engineers for coming up with this relevant theme for the conference at a time nations are battling with increased carbon emission.

He said while current forecast indicates that the  “global cost of renewable energy is declining steadily, the reliability and sustainability of these renewable energy supplies have been challenged by the recent energy crisis in Europe and the Americas, which has re-awakened new interest in fossil fuel supplies.”

” We have seen coal plants being fired up in several European Countries recently, and a renewed interest in natural gas supply from Africa”, Sylva added.

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