TO improve electricity supply in the country, 70 per cent of total domestic gas supply put at 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day (scf/d) is dedicated to the power sector, it was learnt.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, who made this known, told The Nation that to further harness the gas resource for monetisation and development, the corporation has established a directorate to accomplish that objective.
He said: “The gas sector has witnessed commendable improvements in line with Federal Government’s initiative to further monetise the gas resources of the nation. This led to establishment of the Gas and Power Directorate of the corporation, which is anchoring the gas revolution agenda launched by Mr. President aimed at enhancing gas utilisation in the country.
“We are focused on the development of and installation of new infrastructure for gas processing, transmission and distribution nationwide.
“Also as a result of the interventions, gas supply to the Nigerian market has grown from 300 million cubic feet per day a few years ago, to an all time high of 1.5 billion cubic feet per day, of which about 70 per cent is dedicated to support the power sector.”
He also said gas flaring in the oil and gas industry has significantly reduced from 28 per cent two years ago to 10 per cent today, adding that in the past few years, the corporation has embarked on the most aggressive expansion of the nation’s gas pipeline infrastructure for effective transmission and distribution of natural gas.
He said: “We are in the process of completing construction of pipeline connections to all gas fired power plants. Also the construction of a second 450 kilometre Escravos-Lagos pipeline system is almost completed. The Escravos-Oben and Emuren-Itoki segments have been completed and put into use, leaving the Oben-Emuren segment, which will be completed before end of the year. The construction of 120 kilometre East-West pipeline system has also commenced.”
The NNPC lamented the unwarranted vandalism of the corporation’s pipelines especially the major trunk lines through which crude oil is conveyed to the terminals for export. The development led to the intervention of the Federal Government with the setting up of a committee. The actions of the committee led to improvement in oil production.
“It is pertinent to note that Nigeria’s production and export is dependent on four main crude export pipelines – the Trans Forcados pipeline to the west, the Ogbanbiri/Temidaba/Brass pipelines in the centre, the Trans Niger pipeline and Nembe creek trunk line to the east respectively. When these pipelines are compromised and vandalised, over 500,000 barrels of oil per day are potentially at risk.
“Consequently, the Federal Government had to intervene with the setting up of a committee consisting members of the National Economic Committee. With the help of the committee, production increased slightly last year and is currently ramping up. We hope to see further improvement by year end,” he added.