The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, has announced the company’s plans to boost investments in gas development projects, aiming to achieve affordable and clean energy.
Kyari made this announcement during the weekend at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Annual International Conference & Exhibition NAICE 2023 held in Lagos. The conference theme, “Balancing Energy Accessibility, Affordability, and Sustainability: Strategic Options for Africa,” underscores the importance of finding sustainable energy solutions in the region.
Representing Mele Kyari at the event, the Company’s EVP Upstream, Adokiye Tombomieye, highlighted the significance of gas as an alternative during the fuel crisis and explained how NNPCL aims to expand its infrastructure across Nigeria to enhance energy accessibility. Additionally, investments are also planned for the development of the transportation sector, recognizing the importance of a well-rounded approach to energy solutions.
Kyari emphasized the challenges faced by African countries in balancing energy availability, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals No 7 and 13, which focus on affordable energy and climate actions. He emphasized the importance of energy accessibility, affordability, and sustainability, stating that citizens must have access to reliable, modern energy irrespective of their location or socio-economic status.
Furthermore, energy infrastructure should be reasonably priced to ensure access without financial strain, and energy use should not harm the local environment or deplete resources for future generations.
Regarding Nigeria’s abundant natural gas reserves, Kyari revealed that the country currently holds 209.5 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) of proven reserves with a potential upside of up to 600 TCF. These reserves offer immense potential to drive an affordable energy vision, especially as energy sources from solar and wind face certain technological limitations in meeting the high energy demands of the populace.
In light of these developments, Kyari called upon stakeholders in the industry to collaborate and contribute to the provision of affordable, clean, and efficient energy options for over 200 million Nigerians. This collective effort, involving government, the private sector, civil society, host communities, and the public, will be vital in achieving the energy goals set forth.
In response to Kyari’s announcement, Engr. Farouk Ahmed, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), expressed his optimism about Nigeria’s gas reserves, recognizing their potential to unlock economic development and GDP growth for the country. He assured that all efforts are being made to address the challenges related to energy affordability and sustainability by fully harnessing the potential of natural gas, known as the cleanest fossil fuel.
Mansur Dabo, Deputy Manager at NMDPRA, also weighed in on the importance of efficient gas trapping to address environmental and economic challenges related to gas flaring. While highlighting the significance of transitioning to effective gas trapping, he emphasized the need for thoughtful consideration and management of charges to ensure that public participation in the initiative is not discouraged.
He further advised for a thoughtful consideration and management of charges to avoid discouraging public participation in the initiative. By carefully managing the costs associated with the transition, stakeholders can maintain public support and engagement, fostering a successful and sustainable transformation in Nigeria’s energy sector.