The Federal Government, Nigerian Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG), gas marketing companies and other stakeholders in the value chain, are beaming their search light on non-associated gas fields to improve power supply in the country.
This came as the House of Representatives’ Committee on Power advised the Federal Government and other operators to give exploration in the non-associated gas fields a priority to boost power generation.
The Committee’s Chairman, Hon Dan Asuquo, said in an interview in Lagos that the idea aimed at providing alternative means of supplying gas to power plants, since many of the plants get gas, known as a ‘feedstock’ in the industry from associated oil fields.
He said the rate of attacks on facilities, owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and multinational oil companies, such as Shell and Agip, were alarming, stressing that many of the vandalised facilities are associated gas fields. These are the fields, which boast of oil and gas reserves.
Asuquo said: ‘’Non-associated gas fields are believed to have enough gas reserves, as against the associated gas fields. This is the reason the Committee advocated the use of associated gas fields, by critical stakeholders in the industry.
‘’Militant activities are making it difficult for thermal plants to access gas in Niger-Delta region;when the government looks beyond the region for gas procurement, the better for the plants and the sector in particular.”
According to him, when gas is explored in the fields, the thermal plants would not run out of gas for production.
He said when new gas fields are explored, especially outside the region, the development would end violent agitations in the area.
Asuquo said the Committee was discussing with relevant stakeholders in the industry on how to fast-track the process of supplying gas to the power plants to boost supply.
He said a system, through which gas firms, would be able distribute emergency gas to where the power plants are located, should be put in place.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanuel Kachikwu, had said Nigeria lost $100billion to militancy in the Niger Delta region last year, with resultant effects on oil and gas production. The development is having negative impacts on oil output, oil exports, and the power sector, which relies on the region for the provision of gas for generation.