H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has announced the country’s plans to scale up gas investment and development through a number of initiatives in 2022 and beyond.
On the back of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) – signed into law in 2021 – H.E. Minister Sylva has identified 20 critical gas projects that will address domestic and regional energy security while improving exports.
Currently, over 85 million Nigerians live without access to electricity, and with the government targeting universal access by 2030, scaling up investment in gas is key.
In this regard, H.E. Minister Sylva is making a strong case for gas exploration, promoting fiscal terms introduced through the PIA to incentivize international participation in the upstream sector in Nigeria.
“With the passing the PIA, we believe that we are ready for investors,” stated H.E. Minister Sylva during a roundtable interview organized by the African Energy Chamber on June 24, adding that, “With regulatory institutions enabled by the PIA now in place, we are seeing interest from investors in Nigeria and international firms including Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil who have committed to making additional investments in the offshore sector as some of these firms move away from onshore operations.”
Additionally, with plans to increase the country’s proven gas reserves from 200 trillion cubic feet (tcf) to 600 tcf, as well as improve domestic utilization and export, the minister announced that, “We have also identified 20 critical gas projects in Nigeria which we will discuss or sign. We are focusing on gas going forward on the back of the Decade of Gas initiative and now we have clear gas fiscal provisions in the PIA. The government is encouraging investments and we are working with investors to bring these gas projects online.”
Current plans include the establishment of an energy island in the northern region of the country with efforts underway to boost production through the introduction of new deepwater projects as well as reconnect projects such as the Lokola Liquefied Natural Gas initiative.
“One of the projects we are deploying in Nigeria is a major gas turbine in Abuja, which was previously unthinkable because there was no gas supply. In the north, we have a firm seeking to invest in an energy island. The project will transport gas virtually from the south via the Ajaokuta–Kaduna–Kano (AKK) Natural Gas Pipeline. A lot of industries which had shutdown are now coming back into operation owing to access to gas from the AKK,” H.E. Minister Sylva continued.
Finally, with plans to export gas internationally, Nigeria is making progress with the construction of the TSGP. The minister added that, “We have already constructed 614 km of the pipeline within Nigeria. Algeria also started construction. It is between the end of Nigeria in the north through Niger to Algeria that we need to connect. We are doing a feasibility study at the moment. Regarding funding, we have been meeting with a lot of European firms and countries and we will get funding for the project from Europe. We had a meeting with Algeria and Niger in Abuja to discuss gas supply and with the demand for gas increasing and the energy transition intensifying, we are eager to develop to meet our timeline.”