26 Aug 2021

DPR: revving wheels of gas delivery

In its bid to wheel gas to consumers in the country, the Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR) has licensed over 10,000Km of pipelines for the efficient delivery of gas from the licensed Oil and Gas assets in the country. Experts say this is part of efforts towards realising the “Decade of Gas” initiative.

The DPR has always provided leadership across the entire hydrocarbon value chain through its strategic hydrocarbon reserve and lease asset administrative roles to continuously grow the national gas reserves over the years. It is currently re-defining its strategic focus (through the Gas-To-People Initiatives) to enable all gas business opportunities in the industry  create maximum economic return from the nation’s abundant gas resource for the benefit of every Nigerian.

Its Director, Engr. Sarki Auwalu broke this news during the “One Year Anniversary of Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code (NC)-Review of Achievement and Impact Evolution of the Nigerian Domestic Gas Market.”

He recalled that the Nigerian hydrocarbon industry came into the 21st century with a national strategic intent of deepening the value optimization of its extensive gas resource and developed a blueprint in the first decade of the millennium known as the Nigerian Gas Master Plan (NGMP) for accelerating the growth of the gas sector.

The gas master plan, according to him, strategically considered, reviewed and presented a comprehensive domestic gas market development roadmap that will allow Nigeria to derive maximum value from the use of its abundant gas resources for supply of energy (power generation, transportation fuel, domestic use at homes and power for Industry) and provision of feedstock for several Industries (fertilizer, plastics, petrochemical, textile, paint etc).

Expressing optimism about the execution of the masterplan, he noted that an accomplishment of the implementation of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan can lift the country’s  economy not only because of job creation, but in terms of acceleration of the realization of the diversification plans.

On this note, he said: “Successful implementation of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan will undoubtfully impact Nigerian economy in highly strategic fashion that will greatly improve the living standard of the over 200 million Nigerians through the creation of jobs through the vibrant Industries that will be established, supply of energy for all critical areas of our existence, diversified economy and sustained economic growth.” He held the view  that critical elements of the plan that will  support an accelerated development of the Nigerian domestic gas sector involved; ensuring gas availability / affordability through the use of the domestic gas supply obligation (DSO), providing required gas infrastructural capacity across the entire gas demand points in Nigeria, emplacing a matured gas market where gas activities are carried out in a fully commercialized manner that supports optimal returns on all investments made in either gas supply, transportation or utilization.

Auwalu insisted that the DPR and all stakeholders in the hydrocarbon sectors have progressively implemented and achieved success in the execution of the gas master plan which has led to the strategic focus on the gas sector culminating with the declaration of the decade of gas from 2021-2030.

The DPR boss said effective development and operationalization of a gas sector in any clime mandatorily expects that the following key / fundamental enablers must be provided; availability of affordable gas, accessibility of the gas from all demand points and a matured / secured gas market that ensures that all gas transactions are conducted in a fair, transparent and equitable manner. He explained that availability of gas will normally be achieved through the investments that licensed hydrocarbon producing companies make in exploring and developing hydrocarbon.

With investments, Nigeria with excess of 200Trillion Cubic Feet of proven gas reserves, according to him, ranks the highest gas bearing country in African continent and number nine in the world. He therefore confidently said:  “Currently these investments have secured a proven gas resource base of over 200 TCF ranking Nigeria as the 1st gas resource bearing nation in Africa and the 9th in the World.” From this, he inferred  that the country is abundantly blessed with gas resource which can then be used to create extensive wealth if properly harnessed for the common benefit of all.

Since mere potential or proven reserves do not necessarily translate to availability of gas from, perhaps, the very remote offshore it is held, he emphasised on measures to wheel it to its end user for either domestic or commercial purpose.

Auwalu said for consumers to access the gas, “requires the safe and efficient transportation and distribution of produced natural gas from all hydrocarbon assets (oil & gas mining leases, oil & gas producing fields) which maybe located onshore, offshore or deep offshore to all areas where gas is required for Industrial or domestic use.”  He raised the vital and reoccurring question of how to transport the gas to the consumers through various means of conveyance.  Listing them, the DPR boss said “the various means of safe and efficient transportation and distribution gas as: pipeline and non-pipeline better known as virtual pipeline systems.”

Pipeline systems, said Awualu, will easily flow natural gas from any point where it is produced to the point where gas is utilized in its various forms to create value.

In order to position itself for the efficient transportation of gas throughout Nigeria, the Auwalu-led DPR now boasts of 10,000 kilometers of pipeline network that it has already licensed for the service delivery. Besides, the department has echoed the clamour for additional investments for the transportation of gas to the domestic market.

His words: “The Department of Petroleum Resource has licensed over 10,000Km of pipelines for the efficient delivery of gas from the licensed Oil and Gas assets in Nigeria. Additional investments are required in the provision and operation of more pipelines for the delivery of natural gas in the domestic gas market.”

Shedding light on the pipelines, the DPR boss simplified the use of the pipeline system and the virtual pipeline. He noted that while Virtual  pipeline system is to convey gas to consumers where there is absence of pipeline by means of trucks, the operators also use the pipeline to convey gas to the end user where there is pipeline system availability.  He said:  “Virtual Pipeline systems are typically deployed to supply gas to demand points where pipeline systems are not available. Virtual pipeline systems for supply of natural gas include liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and compressed Natural Gas (CNG) by trucks as is being done in Nigeria to mitigate the infrastructural deficit being experienced in gas transportation.”

Meanwhile, he said the DPR is committed to ensuring accessibility of gas to all gas demand points in Nigeria through the enablement of opportunities in both the pipeline and virtual pipeline gas transportation / distribution systems.

He stressed that the licensed capacities for this critical segment of the domestic market have continued to grow progressively in the last decade and will expand greatly in this decade of gas.  Besides, he noted that affordability of gas will facilitate the development of a vibrant domestic gas sector that effectively delivers value to all economic segments in a sustainable and optimal competitive manner relative to alternative sources.

With this, he said, the gas master plan relevant gas policies, regulations, programs and initiatives governing / supporting the development of the domestic gas segment seek to ensure that natural gas is just not available but affordable to ensure that maximum economic rate is derived from the utilisation of the abundant gas resource in Nigeria.

He pledged that all efforts shall continue to be exercised to ensure that gas is affordable for all Nigerians by the opportunities that the Department is enabling.

He described a matured Domestic Gas Market as a critical enabler that will accelerate the gains that Nigerian’s economy can make from the use of gas.

In his words, ‘Attributes of a matured gas market includes; pricing structure of gas supply / transportation that is driven by fundamentals of demand / supply, capacity for supply and off-take of available gas, sanctity of gas contractual instruments, high gas trading transactions, strong business enablement and ease of doing business.”

He recalled that the gas sector in Nigeria has evolved over the years from the pre-Nigerian Gas Master Plan era where it did not have much depth around a structured gas market to becoming a sector that will definitely have all the performance enhancement required for a vibrant domestic gas market segment.

Auwalu revealed that enablement by the DPR through the focused leadership of the Minister of State Petroleum Resources and the President Muhammadu Buhari  is being accelerated to sustain and grow the Investment attractiveness of the Domestic Gas Sector through optimisation of gas supply, optimal gas market performance and conducive investment environment.

He was confident that Nigerian domestic gas market can be said to be an economic sector that is clearly on a path of sustained growth across its value chain that will greatly impact the lives of all Nigerians positively.  DPR, he said, is thus encouraging all stakeholders to cease the outstanding opportunities that gas portends for the economic renaissance of Nigeria.

In conclusion, he restated the exuding confidence, depicting the the Network Code as the catalyst that aids the complete actualization of the full country’s commercialized market.

With the optimism, Auwalu submitted that the “NC is a critical enabler that shall support the attainment of the full commerciality of the domestic gas market in ways that Nigeria can accomplish the plan. Culled from The Nation