The President, Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), Mrs Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, says production of gas remains the key to unlocking Nigeria’s economic potentials.
Joe-Ezigbo made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos while appraising the performance of the oil and gas industry as Nigeria marks her 59th Independence Anniversary.
The president said using gas to unlock potentials would make the country overcome many economic challenges.
Joe-Ezigbo, said the oil and gas industry had helped to raise living standards and support sustainable economic growth and diversification.
“The gas industry in Nigeria has come into its own. There was a time when gas was not recognised for its own merit as a critical resource for industrial development.
“It was rather seen as a nuisance bye-product of crude oil.
“Today, under the ambit of a dedicated National Gas Policy as was passed in June 2017, Gas is recognised fully as an independent fiscal resource and industry in its own right.
” Although, it took us too long to come to this point and we have lost billions of dollars equivalent directly to gas flaring in the process.
“As well as other billions of dollars lost indirectly through the industrialisation and contribution to gross domestic product,” she said.
According to her, the nation has to be mindful of the lessons inherent therein.
Joe-Ezigbo said, “The greater imperative is for us to intentionally ramp up the pace and scale of gas development programs and projects that will move our industry forward in a more strategic and focused manner.
“ Today we are also at the point where we see more of a focus on domestic in-country opportunities for gas development and utilisation, as distinct from where we were decades back where besides flaring the only other focused use for gas was as an export revenue earning resource.”
Joe-Ezigbo , who is also a Co-Founder & Executive Director, Commercial Operations, Falcon Corporation Ltd., said the gas industry was one that had a lot of challenges.
The president said that no doubt the Nigerian Gas Association had been speaking for years about the challenges in the industry.
She noted some of the challenges which vary from issues around sanctity of contracts, to the imperative to attract investments into the sector, to deal with the gross infrastructure deficit.
She said such was affecting the ability of gas to be moved into productive activity across the nation and to the illiquidity issues that were impacting on existing investments in the gas industry.
“We have advocated extensively on the need for a reduction of government’s intervention in the sector and particularly with reference to pricing on tariffs and the need to allow for a willing-buyer/willing-seller market-led framework to evolve.
“We have advocated continuously for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, to enable clarity as to the fiscal framework under-pinning gas industry investments, and so much more.
“It is unfortunate that many of these same sets of challenges continued to affect the industry.
“That said, the gas industry is again one that has significant prospects, and I repeat that they’re prospects that have the potential to transform the landscape of economic development in Nigeria.
“ It is a well proven fact that there is a correlation between the amount of natural gas that is used and consumed in-country and the level of economic development of any nation,’’ Joe-Ezigbo added.
Oil prices recover on lower output from U.S., Russia, OPEC
Oil prices rebounded on Tuesday on reports that output from the world’s largest oil producers fell during the third quarter, although a resumption in Saudi supply and demand concerns kept a lid on gains.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 57 cents to 59.82 dollars a barrel by 0852 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was up 59 cents at 54.66 dollars a barrel.
Front-month prices for both contracts posted their largest quarterly falls this year on Monday, hurt by a slowdown in global economic growth amid the U.S.-China trade war.
“Although oil has been given every opportunity to jump well above 70 dollars per barrel due to geopolitical events, the fact that it did not is telling,” Tamas Varga of oil brokerage PVM said.
“It suggests that the market is not concerned about eventual supply shortages but worried about global recession and possibly about supply surplus next year,” he added.
Oil prices are likely to remain steady, with Brent averaging 65.19 dollars a barrel and WTI 57.96 dollars in 2019, as flagging demand outweighs supply shocks, a Reuters survey showed.
Output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries fell to the lowest in eight years in September at 28.9 million bpd, down 750,000 bpd from August’s revised figure and the lowest monthly total since 2011, a Reuters survey found.
Output at the world’s two largest producers, the United States and Russia, also fell in July and September respectively.
Russia’s output declined to 11.24 million bpd in Sept. 1-29, down from 11.29 million bpd in the previous month, sources said, although it is still above the quotas set in an output deal between Russia and OPEC.
U.S. crude oil output fell 276,000 bpd in July to 11.81 million bpd as federal offshore Gulf of Mexico production slid, according to a U.S. Energy Information Administration monthly report released on Monday.
U.S. production peaked at 12.12 million bpd in April.
News that Saudi Aramco has restored full oil production and capacity to the levels they were at before attacks on its facilities on Sept. 14 weighed on oil prices on Monday. Saudi Arabia pumped about 9.78 million barrels per day (bpd) in August.
Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil stockpiles likely rose 1.1 million barrels last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.