Nigerian Find To 'Boost WAGP Deliveries'
Nigeria's minister of state for petroleum resources Ibe Emmanuel Kachikwu has announced a new gas discovery offshore Lagos state.
Addressing the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) 17th committee of ministers session June 5, Kachikwu said the find will make it possible for Nigeria to increase deliveries through the pipeline and would be crucial to increasing such flows. He did not however give details of the discovery's size.
The director of Nigeria's Department of Petroleum Resources, Mordecai Ladan, however told the Nigerian Gas Association's annual general meeting in Lagos on June 6 that, following an update of its figures, Nigeria's gas reserves had increased to 190 trillion ft3, from a previous level of 186 trillion ft3.
Despite Nigeria's huge gas reserves, the country still battles to supply its own gas-fired power plants, which continue to operate below expectations, partly because of insufficient grid capacity.
The latest gas discovery was made whilst exploring for oil. According to an anonymous source at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the country needs to review policies that will foster gas utilisation for the benefit of Nigerians, as the country still battles with erratic power supplies as well as consequences for focusing too much on oil and largely ignoring gas.
Although greater integration of the West Africa region through the WAGP project is laudable, gas is still needed for power generation inside Nigeria. Experts have noted in the past that the only stumbling block to achieving this is a clear-cut policy review and implementation by the government, which will also bring in the right investors.
WAGP connects the Escravos region of Nigeria's Niger Delta to Benin, Togo and Ghana and is the first regional natural gas transmission system in sub-Saharan Africa. Since the first Nigerian gas reached Ghana in late 2008, and WAGP's launch of commercial operations in 2011, the pipeline has operated largely at below capacity.