THERE are indications that about 1 billion standard cubic feet (SCF) of gas shortfall may stall the early realisation of constant power in Nigeria, as stakeholders in the energy industry have said that it will take at least five years before uninterrupted power supply could be achieved.
Speaking on the issue of gas supply in the power industry, Austin Avuru, Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited, said that gas demand in the last four years has gone up from under 500 million SCF, to over 1 billion SCF, per day and by the end of 2016, it will be approaching 2.5 billion SCF, to 3 billion SCF, per day.
According to him, “As we speak today, there is a shortfall of 400 million scf supply of gas a day to the power sector. The demand is 400 million SCF, higher than what we can supply. By the end of this year, when the last batch of the NIPPs would have been sold, the short fall will be 1 billion SCF.
“There are probably one or two companies that are investing in gas development. If you start investing today in gas development, you are targeting that production for 2016 to 2017. By 2017, we are talking about over 1 billion SCF shortfall in a very critical sector as the power sector. It is already a national emergency. Everybody in Abuja knows there is no immediate solution,” he said.
On his own part, the Chief Executive Officer of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, said it will take at least five years from now before Nigerians begin to experience uninterrupted power. Cole explained that there were certain areas needed to be improved upon before stable power would become reality.
According to him, one of such would be improvement in the way information is shared among key players in the sector for the next couple of years. He also said that pipeline vandalism in Nigeria had contributed hugely to the poor power supply.
“Anybody that vandalises a pipeline may vandalise the pipeline to go and sell crude somewhere thinking that he is making money, but each time he vandalises a pipeline, whether it is a gas pipeline or an oil pipeline, it affects everyone.
“But before we can get to a point where we don’t have to think about power because it is just there, it requires a lot of investment, a lot of capital has to go into that,” he stated.