By SOLOMON ASOWATA
LAGOS- Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, says Nigeria is positioning to become a major gas supplier to Europe following the global energy crisis caused by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Sylva spoke on Tuesday during a panel session at the 50th Anniversary Edition of Gastech Conference 2022 in Milan, Italy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the panel had the topic: “Just Energy Transition for Developing Nations.”
The minister maintained that funding of gas development actually at this point was a win-win for Europe and Africa.
He said: “Today we are seeing gas being weaponised and every country will at least require some alternative supply.
“So, we are positioning ourselves to be an alternative supplier to Europe. We are already working with Algeria to build the Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline that is going to take our gas all the way to Europe.
“We are also having a partnership with Morocco to extend the West Africa Gas Pipeline to Morocco and across the Mediterranean to Europe.
“We believe that Europe needs this gas and it is a win-win for all of us and it is in their interest to reduce this discriminatory investments that their banks are doing.”
Sylva said, during a recent meeting with a European delegation to Nigeria, he had advised them to provide appropriate policy framework for their banks to enable investment in oil and gas.
“For Europe, we don’t know how the winter is going to be but for us, we know that gas is going to be with us for some time and it is in our collective interest for us to provide funding for gas.
“For Nigeria, we just need a few interventions. We need collaboration, and of course we need funding and then technology.
“By the time we get this together, we should be able to unlock a lot of gas.
“Today, we have over 200TCF of proven gas reserves and we know that if we really target gas exploration we can increase this figure to up to 600TCF of gas,” he said.
According to him, with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, which has provided a clear fiscal framework for gas development, Nigeria will be able to attract more investment to the sector and increase its reserves.
Sylva said: “As a country, we are also increasing our investment in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). We were producing about 22MTPA of LNG but we are building a train to increase it to 30MTPA.
“We are also planning to increase our gas production which is about 8 billion cubic feet per day (cf/d) to about 12. 2 billion cf/d.
“We have declared the year 2021 to year 2030 as the Decade of Gas, so we are focused on actually investing in gas.”
The minister reiterated that Nigeria had adopted gas as its energy transition fuel and was committed to achieving its net zero carbon emission target.
He said the Federal Government was also looking at investing in Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) technology.
“We believe that is the direction to go. We believe that it is not about renewable energy but about clean energy.
“We want to see how we can engage and deploy CCUS technology to clean our hydrocarbons. For us, we believe that is the way to go,” Sylva said. (NAN)