Managing Director of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, owners of the six-train Bonny LNG plant in Rivers State, Mr. Babs Jolayemi Omotowa, said Nigeria’s market share in the global liquefied natural gas supply might shrink to five per cent by 2017 if the country continued to delay progress on new LNG projects, especially Train 7 of NLNG.
Omotowa told participants at the recent 2012 edition of the Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG-12) conference in Abuja that already, Nigeria’s share of the global LNG supply had shrunk to eight per cent from 10 per cent in 2008, after output stagnated at 22 million metric tonnes per annum since the start-up of the NLNG Train 6.
“Nigeria LNG market share was 10 percent in 2008; now 8 percent and will be 5 percent by 2017,” Omotowa said, adding that other countries are either catching up with Nigeria or well ahead in LNG production.
“United States, a former net importer will export LNG by 2016,” he added at the scheduled 3-day long industry conference.
Omotowa said that the delay in progressing the NLNG Train 7 project, as well as the Brass LNG and OKLNG projects, had so far deprived Nigeria of raising its LNG production to a potential of 52 million metric tonnes per annum.
NLNG Limited, owned by Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell, Eni and Total, is yet to take a final investment decision (FID) on building Train 7 at the Bonny LNG plant which will take production from the plant to 30 million metric tonnes per annum.
However, indication has emerged that the government has concluded plans to sign the Final Investment Decision (FID) for Train 7 of the NLNG Limited to boost the country’s production of liquefied natural gas, as part of the ongoing efforts to ensure that the country overtakes Qatar as the second largest LNG exporter.
Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Austen Oniwon, told participants at the conference that the FID for Train 7 would be signed in the second quarter of next year, as part of the efforts to make Nigeria a global giant in LNG production.
With the completion of the Train 6, the NLNG Plant in Bonny Island in Rivers State has an overall capacity of some 22 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG and 4 million tonnes per annum of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
It, however, requires about 3.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) feedgas intake at full production.
Train 7 will lift the total production capacity to over 30 MTPA LNG and the long delayed decision on the Train 7 has cost the country loss of huge revenue and global market share.
Building Train 7 will create 13,000 jobs and bring in $8 billion in direct foreign exchange to the country.
The decision to do NLNG Train 7 is timely as it will enable Nigeria benefit from the window of opportunity created by failure of nuclear plants in Japan and Far East markets, a market fast dissipating because of scramble by other LNG projects.
Local industry sources have attributed the delay to fears over the availability of gas feedstock for the new production line at the Bonny plant.
However, the NLNG boss said that Nigeria, with huge reserves of over 187 trillion cubic feet (tcf), has enough gas for the new LNG projects, but acknowledged that lack of infrastructure and funding hamper the utilisation of the gas resources.
“Accelerated progress on Train 7 and other LNG projects will help build a better Nigeria,” Omotowa said, adding that the NLNG Train 7 would bring $8 billion in foreign direct investment (FID) and additional $2.2 billion annually in dividend.