It is time to prioritise gas in Nigeria, says NLNG chief

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The NLNG Managing Director, Tony Attah

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Tony Attah, has said time has come for the country to use gas as catalyst for industrial and economic transformation and become a great gas producing country.

Attah stated this when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, paid a courtesy visit to the NLNG’s plant on Bonny Island, Rivers State. He said Nigeria urgently needs to unleash its vast gas potential, which currently is put at 187 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of proven reserves, 600 tcf of unproven reserves. The utilisation of the huge gas reserves will afford the opportunity for growth with NLNG Trains 7 and 8 and an increased supply capacity for one metric tons per annum (mtpa) of cooking gas to the domestic market.

Attah said: “To promote gas sector investment as a catalyst for economic growth for Nigerian economy, it is necessary that affirmative actions are taken to create opportunities to attract international investments. Gas will continue to be an enabler of economic and industrial development and there is need to strategically reposition Nigeria’s gas sector for sustainable economic and industrial development.

“In NLNG’s case, there was the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances Act (NLNG Act). The assurances and guarantees in the Act allowed investments to flow into the country. It provided investors the confidence that any agreement entered into would be respected and preserved. To amend the Act will not help Nigeria, NLNG and its hopes for expansion. It will erode investors’ confidence that the Act provided in the first place.

“We need to be creative with incentives that will attract investments and preserve the sanctity of contracts and agreements for all of this to come together in our national interest.”

Citing the Qatari example, he said: “Today, oil and gas, and principally LNG is the foundation of Qatar’s economy; and account for more than 70 per cent of total government revenue, and more than 60 per cent of GDP, as well as roughly 85 per cent of export earnings. Qatar has LNG capacity of about 77 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), and generates revenue of about $91 billion per year. In Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) production, Qatar is third in the world with production capacity of about 400kbbl equivalent per day and revenue of about $16billion a year – all from GTL. Gas was the catalyst for transformation of a small emirate to a global economic powerhouse.”

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