NLNG Urges More Gas Investment to Boost Energy Transition

The company operates six LNG trains with a total capacity of 22 MTPA and is constructing a seventh train that will increase its capacity to 30 MTPA

by Motoni Olodun

Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), a leading producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has called for increased investment in gas development to support the global energy transition and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The company’s managing director and CEO, Dr. Philip Mshelbila, made this appeal during a visit by the minister of state for petroleum resources (gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, to the NLNG plant on Bonny Island, Rivers State.

Mshelbila said that gas is a key driver of economic growth and development in Nigeria and a cleaner and more reliable energy source than coal or oil. He noted that gas can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, especially in developing countries that are facing energy poverty and environmental challenges.

He also highlighted the achievements and prospects of NLNG, which operates six LNG trains with a total capacity of 22 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and is currently constructing a seventh train that will increase its capacity to 30 MTPA. He said this project will position NLNG as one of the largest single-site LNG operations globally and among the top three worldwide regarding such capacity at a single site.

However, he pointed out the challenges and threats the gas sector faces, such as feed gas supply shortages, crude oil theft, low prices, and unfavorable fiscal terms for deep-water exploration. He urged the government and the industry to work together to address these issues and ensure the safety and benefits of gas development.

He also stressed the need to embrace the idea of “greening” natural gas by using more biomethane from organic sources or blending hydrogen into existing gas networks. He said that these pathways could offer decarbonization at scale while extending the use of existing gas infrastructure into the future.

The minister commended NLNG for its role in harnessing Nigeria’s vast gas resources and contributing to its economy and social development. He said that the federal government will continue to encourage engagement among stakeholders to resolve gas supply and security issues and restore plans to compete with peers worldwide. He added that the development of gas is something that should be pursued vigorously, as it is vital for Nigeria’s quest to become an energy-efficient country where clean energy is utilized.

The minister’s visit comes at a time when Nigeria is implementing several policies and initiatives to promote gas utilization and export, such as the “Decade of Gas” initiative, which aims to ramp up gas use from 2020 to 2030, and the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Program, which seeks to eliminate gas flaring and encourage commercial use of gas.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), natural gas has a significant role in today’s energy transitions, as it can replace more polluting fuels and support the integration of variable renewables. However, the IEA also warns that switching between unabated consumption of fossil fuels does not provide a long-term answer to climate change and that methane emissions along the gas supply chain must be significantly reduced.

The IEA estimates that global gas demand will grow by 1.5% annually until 2024, driven by strong growth in Asia, especially China and India. However, it also projects that global gas demand will peak around 2030 in its Sustainable Development Scenario, which is aligned with the Paris Agreement’s climate goals. In this scenario, gas demand will decline by 15% from 2019 levels by 2050 as low-carbon fuels such as hydrogen, biomethane, and electricity take over.

Therefore, it is imperative for Nigeria and other gas-producing countries to invest in innovation and diversification of their gas portfolios while ensuring environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

Source: Leadership

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