The Group Managing Director Of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mr Mele Kyari Says Nigeria is presently Africa’s leading exporter of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and the 4th in the World after Qatar, Australia and Malaysia.
He said the country is ready to capture more LNG market with the Final Investment Decision of the NLNG Train 7, while aggressively working to expand its domestic gas footprint with the delivery of the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) II to double capacity from 1.1billion standard cubic feet of gas (BSCF) to 2.2BSCF and the OB3 gas pipeline to connect East and the West.
Mr Kyari, made this known at the ongoing 4th Sub-Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (SAIPEC) in Lagos.
Speaking on the conference theme: “Oil & Gas as an Enabler for Economic Transformation in Sub Saharan Africa”, Kyari stated that the NNPC would commence the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline in Q2 2020 to serve as an enabler to further boost the economic activities of the country.
Represented by the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Gas and Power, Engr. Yusuf Usman, Kyari stated that the recent passage of the Deep Offshore Act into law has set the industry on the path of irreversible growth.
“Nigeria as Africa’s leading exporter of LNG and the 4th in the World after Qatar, Australia and Malaysia, was ready to capture more LNG market with the Final Investment Decision of the NLNG Train 7.
“Oil and gas resources have remained the major source of revenue that has kept the wheels of Nigeria moving for over five decades. Oil, as we all know, has served as key enabler to the economic transformation of many nations like Norway, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and many other oil resources dependent nations,” he stated.
According to the NNPC boss, it is not a new that most resource dependent nations rely on their dominant natural resource to drive other key economic initiatives and activities, noting that this is true of Nigeria and many other countries represented at the conference.
He informed that the connection between the oil and gas industry and the Nigeria economy was intricate, stressing that the state of every aspect of the nation’s economic and social life revolved around the hydrocarbon resource.
Kyari however, called for more commitment to diversify the economy away from over dependence on oil revenues in order to avoid the risk of market fluctuations that may impact the nation’s fiscal equation.
“The current government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has made it a priority to ensure revenues from oil and gas resources are utilized to support the emergence and growth of other non-oil sectors of the economy. In order to achieve this objective, it means more money will be required from the oil and gas to fund new economic projects outside the oil and gas Industry,” the GMD stated.
In order the support the President’s diversification vision, Kyari said the NNPC, as a national oil company, plans increasing oil production from 2.3million barrels per day to 3million bbl/day and at the same time working with partners to significantly reduce cost per barrel in order to improve the flow of the needed revenue.
He disclosed that Nigeria was still a net importer of petroleum products due to the current state of NNPC refineries and the long absence of private investment in the refining sector.
To address this, he said the NNPC was inviting investors to key into the revamp and expansion of domestic refining capacity in order to support the growth of the downstream sector and guaranty energy security for the nation.
“We are progressing with the establishment of condensate refineries to fast-track domestic supply of petroleum products. In the same vein, the corporation would support the actualization of the 650Kbbl/day Dangote Refinery, as well as other private initiatives along this line. Our plan is for Nigeria to become a net exporter of petroleum products by 2023,” Kyari said.