New investments in gas development have been put on hold on the back of the proposed reforms in the National Gas Policy, the Nigerian Gas Association has said.
The President, NGA, Mr Dada Thomas, said the government and operators recognised that the first step towards attracting huge gas investments was to provide a legal and regulatory framework that would enable the removal of all the other obstacles.
“As we all know, the passed gas policy proposes reforms so profound that almost every new investment is on hold awaiting the resolution of the questions raised by this legislation,” he said in Lagos at a press briefing ahead of the association’s bi-annual gas conference slated to take place in Abuja next month.
According to him, turning natural gas into a profit-making venture requires huge investments in infrastructure that address the five component areas of gas availability, gas affordability, deliverability, funding and the legal and regulatory framework.
Thomas stated, “At no time in the history of our industry has natural gas been poised to play a more important role in our country and sub-Saharan African energy picture. The natural gas revolution is the most significant energy thing in decades of the region’s development.
“The implications of this revolution, with a particular focus on what it means for the West African region, are important for our industry and the region’s economy to grasp. The benefits of natural gas in meeting our future energy needs are well documented. Its supply is increasingly abundant and diverse, which means greater energy security.”
The NGA president said the forthcoming conference, with the theme, ‘Shift to gas economy: Pace and scale of innovation in the West African sub-region’, would provide the needed platform to discuss ways to re-energise and maximise the natural gas potential.
The confirmed speakers were given as the Secretary General, International Gas Union, Luis Bertran; Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru; Chief Executive Officer, Ghana National Gas Company, Ben Asante; Managing Director, West Africa Gas Pipeline Company, Walter Perez; Managing Director, NLNG, Tony Attah; Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mordecai Ladan; and Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Osagie Okunbor, among others.
Thomas stated, “While the global debate about evolving business models for an evolving global gas business continues to grab the spotlight, closer to home, the discourse about the role of gas in Africa’s energy mix, particularly Nigeria, needs to continue. With this in mind, we at the NGA have continued to ask ourselves the questions on the current state of the natural gas industry in Nigeria in addition to evaluating the potential for its future development across the West African region.
“Even with obvious challenges, companies are making significant strategic investments in gas pipelines and production to power Independent Power Plants and industrial customers, and it is estimated that about 1,000 megawatts of the IPP capacity is presently idle due to a lack of gas delivery.
“As the market moves towards the concept of ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ and the government continues to make the investment environment more attractive, the country has massive prospects.”
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