Nigeria LNG Limited Eyes Expansion Despite Gas Supply Challenges

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) has been gearing up for the completion of its Train 7 project. Dr. Philip Mshelbila, the Managing Director and CEO of NLNG, underscored that a steady feed gas supply is crucial for the proposed Train 8 project.

Mshelbila spoke on this matter during a visit by Mr. Ekperikpe Ekpo, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), to the NLNG facility on Bonny Island, Rivers State. “Our biggest hurdle, which is impacting both our current operations and expansion strategies, is the feed gas supply. Presently, Trains 1 through 6 operate at approximately half their potential. This has been a persisting issue,” Mshelbila said.

He attributed this challenge to crude oil theft, which in turn affects the gas supply. “Our aspirations for Train 8 are hindered by the uncertainty of the gas supply,” he added. Mshelbila emphasized the need for Nigeria to capitalize on the energy transition, especially recognizing gas as a transition fuel.

The NLNG leader also expressed concern over Nigeria’s current energy challenges. Without addressing these root issues, Nigeria could miss out on potential revenue from resource monetization and face prolonged energy poverty.

Mshelbila also emphasized the importance of the gas sector. “As we aim to finalize Train 7, we’re nearing an impressive benchmark: a 30 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) capacity. This achievement could elevate Nigeria to one of the top three global single-site operations,” he explained.

However, global shifts like the Russian/Ukraine conflict have resulted in significant LNG sector developments. These events highlight the growing demand for liquefied natural gas, marking it as vital for global energy transitions.

Mshelbila noted, “Our dedication to maximizing natural gas’s potential will not only re-establish Nigeria’s status in the energy domain but also guide us towards an eco-friendlier future.”

In response, Minister Ekpo affirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to facilitating dialogue among stakeholders. This aims to address gas supply challenges and align Nigeria with its global counterparts. Ekpo lauded NLNG’s proactive approach and emphasized the need for collective efforts to prevent revenue loss and maximize opportunities. “NLNG deserves full support for expansion, benefiting our nation’s future,” Ekpo concluded.

During this visit, the Minister met with Mshelbila, Nnamdi Anowi (General Manager, Production), Andy Odeh (General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development), and other senior staff.

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