OTC: Nigeria invites investors to implement Gas Master Plan

Nigeria is seeking $20-25 billion of private investment to build natural gas pipelines, processing plants, and other infrastructure under its Gas Master Plan, which has just been approved by the federal council.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, May 6 -- Nigeria is seeking $20-25 billion of private investment to build natural gas pipelines, processing plants, and other infrastructure under its Gas Master Plan, which has just been approved by the federal council.

The plan will help Nigeria become a major gas consumer and monetize its 182 tcf of proved gas reserves, said David Ige, group general manager at Nigeria National Petroleum Corp. Ige told delegates at the Offshore Technology Conference May 6 in Houston that the plan would help connect the resources to Nigeria's domestic and export markets.

"The US Geological Survey puts undiscovered reserves at 600 tcf and our gas reserves are those found so far in exploring for oil. We have had any gas exploration program on its own," Ige added. "The commercial framework and the lack of infrastructure have made it difficult to bring the resources to market."

The plan anticipates an aggressive demand increase of 20-25% in the midterm because of domestic projects such as methanol plants, gas-to-liquids plants, fertilizer plants, independent power projects, and other LNG export plants such as Brass LNG.

Nigeria aims to have a market-driven gas sector by 2014 where the domestic and export market will come together, Ige said. "We did the mistake with oil where exports were preferred over the domestic market and we don't want to make that mistake with gas." President Umaru Yar'Adua has called on companies to set aside gas production for local use and Ige told OGJ that the new domestic market supply obligation launched in February would see 1 bcfd of natural gas directed to consumers in Nigeria. This would rise to 4-5 bcfd over the next 5 years.

By January 2011, Nigeria hopes to see a commercial domestic market and commercial pricing for gas to power. By January 2013, it expects to have a GTL market. Nigeria will give presentations in May in Abuja, London, and Singapore to provide more details on how investors can become involved in its gas development.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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