Federal Government has concluded plans to construct the longest gas pipeline in the country from Calabar via Ajaokuta to Kano State, an effort to meet up with growing market demand of the product.
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke made the disclosure while delivering a paper titled: “Encouraging Investment in Gas Production, Supply and Consumption” at a 3-day National Conference on Gas Resources organized by the Senate Committee on Gas Resources in Abuja.
“By the end of the year, we will be commencing, via Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme, the nation’s longest pipeline from Calabar via Ajaokuta to Kano State,” Alison-Madueke stated.
Represented by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engr. Andrew Yakubu, the Minister said that at present the Federal Government was constructing the strategic East-West pipeline while the Lagos end segment of the Escravos to Lagos Pipelines System (ELPS) is nearing completion.
She explained that almost 500km of new gas pipelines have been completed and commissioned including the doubling of the capacity of the EPLS between Escravos and Oben and the extension from Oben to Geregu and River Imo to Alaoji respectively.
In statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ohi Alegbe, the Minister said that by the end of 2018, the backbone pipeline infrastructure for gas would have been delivered, concluding an initial phase of over 2500km of gas pipeline infrastructure development.
She said that the use of natural gas instead of petrol has translated into significant savings for over 4000 taxi drivers in Benin who are already using this alternative energy source.
In the same vein, the Minister aid that the federal government’s efforts at eliminating gas flaring is making significant impact as flare out rate dropped from 25% to 11% of production.
Speaking in similar vein, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr.
Andrew Yakubu, while presenting a paper titled: “Nigeria’s Gas Resources, Current and Future Expectations”, at the Conference put the country’s current gas production at about 8.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d).
He explained that of the total production, 3.5bcf/d (41%) is exported, 2.3 bcf/d (28%) is consumed domestically for power and industries, 1.2 bcf/d (15%) is used in the upstream for gas re-injection and balance of 0.8bcf/d (10 per cent) is flared.
In her welcome address, the Chairman Senate Committee on Gas Resources, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, said that Nigeria with per capita consumption of natural gas put at about 1.06kg, ranks lowest in Africa with only 5 per cent of her citizens having access to domestic gas.
She explained that the aim of the conference was to look at ways of filling the huge gap between gas production and utilization in the country as well as reducing routine gas flaring for the benefit of the nation and its citizens.