The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke on Tuesday chronicled some of the remarkable strides in the oil and gas industry which have engendered growth and cross sectoral opportunities for investments in the country.
Delivering a keynote speech at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja with the theme: Nigeria’s Oil &Gas Strategy in the Next Five Years-A New Dawn to Boost Investment and Production, Mrs. Alison-Madueke noted that the recent chain of positive activities in the sector has set the industry on the path of renewed growth and sustainable development.
In the Upstream sub-sector, the Minister listed the achievements to include; sustenance of the 2.4 mbpd crude oil production, increase in gas production from 6.3 to 7.8 billion cubic feet per day and decrease in gas flare to less than 11% compared to 30% in 2010 as well as the initiative to grow the National Oil Company, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, to a medium size oil and gas company.
``This has re-positioned NPDC as a dominant gas supplier to the domestic market with over 450 mmscfd in the Western Niger Delta. The latest being, the completion and supply of 65 mmscfd from the Oredo Integrated Gas Handling Facility, IGHF into the gas network in 2012,’’ the Minister said.
On gas to power, Mrs. Alison-Madueke noted that the April 2012, 12-month Emergency Gas Supply Plan has contributed over 230 mmscfd for power generation and increased national power generating capacity by 30% to 4.2GW of power.
``Similarly, gas sales rose by more than 70% to an average of 4 billion standard cubic feet per day and for the first time, industry supplied more domestic gas than was consumed by the power and industrial sectors. Plan is to continue in 2013 to further increase power generation by additional 40% to 6.0GW through the addition of 450 mmscfd gas supply,’’ she sated.
In the downstream sub-sector, Mrs. Alison-Madueke stated that the efficiency of the refineries and petrochemical plants is being enhanced through human capacity development and establishment of best operating and maintenance practices ahead of the planned comprehensive Turn around Maintenance of the three refineries.
The Minister noted that despite the challenges of pipeline vandalism, the NNPC has embarked on aggressive revamp of vital pipeline arteries and depots to enhance product supply and distribution.
In his address titled: Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Industry: Global and Domestic Context, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, stated that in spite of the industry-wide apprehension generated by the development of shale gas in the US and other jurisdiction, Nigeria’s role as a vital energy supplier remains unfazed .
``Although we are already thinking ahead by repositioning our exports in the light of these emerging threats, however there are some natural factors which would slow down the development of shale oil production outside the US,’’ Yakubu said.
Some of the factors he listed include: High production cost, energy intensive production technique, uncertainty regarding estimates of technically recoverable resources, technical and environmental factors hampering development as well as extensive use of chemicals and water.
The GMD also listed waste water and ground water contamination, air and noise pollution, endangered species as well as loss of habitat as the main factor which bedevils the growth of shale gas/oil production.