Kyari Advocates For Differentiated Energy Transition For Africa

GCEO NNPCL, Mele Kyari, speaks to CERAWeek Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of S&P Global, Daniel Yergin, during a Leadership Dialogue Plenary Session at the ongoing CERAWeek Conference in Houston, United States, on Tuesday.

By Juliet Ukanwosu

As global calls for transition to cleaner energy fuels continue to grow, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) Mr. Mele Kyari has advocated for a differentiated approach to attaining energy transition for the African continent.

This is as he also revealed that the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Nigeria Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) Project will be taken in December 2024.

Kyari made the call while speaking during a Leadership Dialogue Session at the ongoing CERAWeek Conference in Houston, United States, on Tuesday.

He explained that energy transition is a difficult subject for countries especially in sub-saharan Africa because geographically, the situations are different as a number of the countries are dealing with energy availability, not transition, and energy availability is closely linked to energy security.

He said: “The world has seen all the challenges thrown up recently by geopolitical events. It is clear that before energy transition, countries must first attain security of energy supply in their countries. You cannot talk about energy security when it is not even available. In most sub-Saharan Africa, 70% of the population don’t have access to clean cooking fuels. Therefore, you must fill the supply gap first,” the GCEO stated.

Kyari noted that although people talk about using renewables to close the energy transition gap, the money for the renewables too must be found. “If you insist on completing substitution today, then you have to deal with the problem of supply. For us today, the transition must be differentiated. Even if Africa decides to switch off its fossil fuels, it only accounts for just about 3% of the entire global emissions,” the GCEO added.

According to him, NNPCL’s current focus is to build its capacity to deliver gas to the domestic market and beyond, adding that as a gas-endowed country, Nigeria must utilize its abundant gas resources to provide the alternative fuel that it needs.

“We understand the arguments towards attaining energy transition, but the cheapest way to achieve that is through gas. We see clear opportunities that gas creates. Today we are building a number of trunklines and other gas infrastructure that will supply gas to a number of gas networks,” Kyari noted.

Shedding more light on the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project (NMGP), he disclosed that there is an ongoing engagement which is at an advanced stage to create the pipeline that will pass through 13 African countries, all the way to Europe, hinting that the FID for the $25billion NMGP Project will be made by December, 2024.

He further told stated that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 has reformed Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, by ensuring that the NNPC Ltd emerged as a fully commercial entity that is not only accountable and responsible to its shareholders, but also one that is on the pathway of getting quoted on the stock exchange.

He also disclosed that Nigeria is fighting the menace of crude oil theft through the joint efforts of government and private security agencies, leading to reasonable improvements in the restoration of the nation’s crude oil production.

“It is an abnormal situation, but it is well within control. We were able to recover some of our production and build back confidence so that investors can bring in their money. We are also doing global advocacy to governments and institutions, because stolen oil has to be taken to the market,” he stated.

CERAWeek, organised by S&P Global, is one of the largest energy conferences in the world, drawing thousands of foremost global energy industry experts and a host of other corporate and government leaders from around the world annually to Houston, United States for a week-long conversation on the future of energy. The conference has grown in recent years to accommodate new energy technologies and climate issues.

Under the theme “Multidimensional Energy Transition: Markets, Climate, Technology and Geopolitics” the CERAWeek 2024 will explore “strategies for a multidimensional, multispeed and multifuel energy transition,” as the global energy industry tries to respond to, and offer insight into roadmap towards, growing demand for emissions reductions and moving towards cleaner forms of energy.

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