By Etuka Sunday
The Federal Government has announced its plans to grow domestic gas consumption from 1.7 billion cubic feet per day to 5.4 bcf per day by 2019 in line with its Gas Master Plan.
The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engr. Yakubu made this known while delivering the keynote address on the second day of the 2014 Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja with the theme: “Nigeria’s Strategy to maintain its position as Africa’s leading producer”.
The NNPC GMD said the country’s reserves stand at 36 billion barrels of oil and about 182 trillion cubic feet of gas and produced an average of 2.2 million barrels of oil per day in 2013 with a reserve to production ratio of 42 years for oil and 155 years for gas.
“In Africa, only Libya has more oil reserves than Nigeria and despite new discoveries in Sub Saharan Africa, especially in Mozambique, Nigeria still has undiscovered gas potential of about 600 tcf,” he said.
Yakubu said that even in recent times with the emerging African oil producers, the discovery of the Ogo field in 2013 with reserves of about 750 million barrels of equivalent shows that the Nigerian Deltaremains one of the most prospective areas in the world.
He revealed that about 49% of Nigeria’s licensed blocks (397) are still open and active stressing that the availability of production allowances would also provide a welcome boost for small fields and
profitability would increase in the proposed petroleum industry bill currently before the National Assembly.
“Nigeria’s quest to grow its reserves is promoted in the PIB through a robust acreage management system to be superintended by the Upstream Petroleum Inspectorate, involving the release of acreages that have been held without activity.
“The passage of the PIB will promote transparency, accountability and good governance and level playing field for players in the Nigerian oil industry. This will doubtless attract the much needed investment in the Nigerian Petroleum Sector,” he said.
According to the GMD, despite the above strategies to remain a leading player, Nigeria has faced unprecedented challenges with regards to losses in production occasioned by incessant vandalism of crude oil export pipelines and domestic crude oil and petroleum product pipelines.
Engr. Yakubu stated that in 2013, Nigeria suffered severe attacks on its critical export pipeline system leading to the loss and deferment of about 300,000 barrels per day.
The GMD stated that to tackle these challenges and ensure that the country maintains its leading position in oil production in Africa, a number of initiatives have been initiated. These include: measures to address pipeline vandalism, improving small field economics, newacreage management systems, new exploration paradigm shift, attractingnew capital investment and the introduction of new licensing rounds