by Emeka Ugwuanyi
Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNL) has completed gas flare down projects in two of its fields, its Managing Director, Nicholas Terraz, has said.
At the Nigerian Gas Association’s Conference in Abuja, he said the flare out feats were achieved in Total’s offshore field in oil mining lease (OML) 102 and onshore acreage in OML 58.
He said: “At Total, we are committed to better energy and have had a flare-out policy for producing fields and a no-flaring policy on all new developments since year 2000. The Amenam-Kpono and Akpo developments are examples of this in new projects whilst brown fields flare down projects have been completed in our OML 102 offshore and OML 58, onshore Nigeria.
“In a presentation entitled ‘’Harnessing natural gas: New opportunities for Nigeria’s energy agenda,’’ Terraz stated that with about 180 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of proved gas reserves and a potential for 600 TCF of which only 47 TCF is currently developed, natural gas is obviously a key resource for Nigeria, which apart from generating much needed export revenue, will also be a catalyst for rapid economic development especially in the areas of power generation and gas based industry growth.
Total has been an active partner of the Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the development of Nigerian gas sector. “We are a shareholder in Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and have been supplying gas to NLNG plant in Bonny since production started in 1999 contributing to significant reduction of gas flaring in Nigeria,’’he said.
Total, with its Joint Venture partner NNPC, has built the Northern Option Pipeline (NOPL), a strategic 50 km gas pipeline with a capacity of 300 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCF/D) designed to supply gas to the Alaoji power plant and other gas based industries in the Eastern domestic market. This is a major contribution to the efforts of the Nigerian government to develop the domestic gas market. Gas supply to Alaoji plant through NOPL started on October 18, he added.
He noted some achievements accomplished by the Nigerian Gas Master Plan such as growing domestic gas supply to about 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) from less than 1bcf/d, and export gas to over 3bcf/d. Gas flaring has reduced from a high of 2.5bcf/d 10 years ago to about 0.8bcf/d today. Some major pipeline projects are either ongoing or have been completed. Escravos Lagos Pipeline 2 (ELPS 2) which will double the ELPS capacity and the Obiafu, Obrikom, Oben gas pipeline (OB3) East-West Interconnector are under construction while the NOPL from Rumuji to Imo River has been completed, he added.
Terraz also noted some significant challenges in the gas subsector such as inadequate infrastructure along the value chain, insufficient pipeline work and increasing vandalism of existing ones, constrained power generation capacity due to inability to dispatch power to the grid even where sometimes gas is available, and upstream joint venture funding shortfalls, which delay projects including gas development and production projects, but this is being addressed in a creative manner by NNPC and JV partners.
He also said lack of bankable commercial, fiscal and strong regulatory frameworks that stimulate new developments, including absence of PSC gas terms, were major challenge.
Terraz said that Nigeria was important for Total. We have made major investments in the oil and gas industry over the past decades and this would continue. It is one of the countries we foresee long-term growth.