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Nigeria: Concern mounts over West Africa Gas Pipeline Project

The West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP), a natural gas project initiated by the Federal Government with the governments of Benin, Ghana, and Togo, has come under intense criticisms as stakeholders have said the project has not yielded the desired results.

The pipeline is designed to supply gas from the Escravos region of Niger Delta to feed generating plants of the participating countries.

The project, which was the first regional natural gas transmission system in sub-Saharan Africa, was initiated to, among others, channel away associated gas from Nigerian oil fields where gas is flared, generate employment for Nigerians and foster economic integration of the West African countries involved.

The World Bank and sponsors of the project – Shell and Chevron – had claimed that the WAGP would contribute to putting an end to gas flares in Nigeria and provide cheap energy.

However, more than 10 years after the project was embarked upon, Nigeria still flares more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, which adversely affects the health of the people.

It is estimated that Nigeria loses about $2.5 billion yearly due to lack of infrastructure to harness gas.

The volume of gas flared in Nigeria is the same quantity Trinidad and Tobago utilises for both domestic and export, according to industry sources.

Industry experts told THISDAY yesterday that there had not been “anything to convince Nigerians that the project is worth continuing”, as according to them, it had neither reduced gas flares nor improved Nigeria’s trade and diplomatic relationship with the participating countries.

The agreement to supply gas to the three countries under the WAGP project, as part of commitment to the West Africa Gas Project scheme, was subject to satisfactory supply to the domestic market including the power plants.

However, while gas constraint has been a major hindrance to steady power supply in Nigeria, the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has continued to transport the gas that would have been utilised to feed the nation’s power plants and industrial manufacturing firms to sister countries to meet their requirements under the (WAGP) project.


PIB: No special terms for NNPC, says FG

By Yemie Adeoye, in London
Following reservations by International Oil Companies, IOC’s, in Nigeria and other prospective investors in the oil and gas sector regarding the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, currently before the National Assembly, the Federal Government has stated that there would be no special terms for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, when the law is finally passed.

The statement is specifically aimed at assuaging the feelings of IOC’s and investors alike as well as to address the rumour making the rounds that there are several versions of the PIB and the law is aimed specifically at protecting government’s interest in the sector.

Dr. Tim Okon, Group General Manager, Corporate Planning and Strategy of the NNPC, made this assertion yesterday while delivering a presentation entitled ‘The fiscal terms of the PIB-implications for current and future investors’ at the on-going 13th annual Gulf of Guinea Oil and Gas week.

Other participants at the event also argued that the Federal Government needs to invest massively in infrastructure as it is a key to domestication in Nigeria as against exportation of the nation’s gas reserves.

Another speaker, Abidemi Oguntoye, also spoke on the importance of the Federal Government to come up with a focussed commitment to ensure proper implementation of the PIB.


Nigeria Says Reforms Must Pass Before Bid Round

By Emma Farge


LONDON (Reuters) - Nigeria will not hold a major oil licensing round until wide-ranging reforms to Africa's largest oil and gas industry are passed into law, an aid to the country's president said on Thursday.


The long-delayed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which aims to solve funding problems and boost Nigeria's oil and gas output, has been subject to numerous revisions and it remains unclear when the reforms will be passed.


"That's the million dollar question," Hassan Tukur, principal secretary to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said when asked about the timing of the Petroleum Industry Bill




"I don't see the major licensing round before it is passed."


The OPEC member holds periodic licensing rounds for new blocks and has said the next will be a chance for domestic companies and foreign firms new to Nigeria to gain a foothold.


Officials have said the next auction is likely to be for both onshore and offshore fields totalling at least 2 billion barrels.

The fact the PIB is delaying a possible licensing round highlights oil executives uncertainty over the passage of the legislation, which they believe has meant billions of dollars of potential investment are on hold.


Nigeria: FG Tasks Investors On Investment Opportunities in Oil And Gas

Lagos — The federal government has once again urged investors to take advantage of the robust investment opportunities, the yet to be passed Petroleum Industry Bill will offer the nation's oil and gas sector.

Vice President Namadi Sambo, who made the call at the International Conference organised by the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) in Abuja yesterday, said government will not relent in its efforts at creating an enabling environment in the sector with a view to bringing investors, delight.


Brass LNG Shareholders, Gas Suppliers Restate Commitment To FID

In an effort to actualise the Federal Government’s aspiration in gas utilisation and monetisation and generate wealth in the Niger Delta region, shareholders of Brass LNG and gas suppliers have reiterated their commitment to signing the Final Investment Decision (FID) of the project before the end of the first quarter of next year.

The signing of the FID would mark the commencement of construction of the project, which will hugely boost the economy when it begins operation.


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