Federal Government yesterday advised South African Government to invest in the Nigeria’s gas sector, which it said currently worth $50 billion (N18 trillion) and with a lot of opportunities. Giving the advice at the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce meeting, Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR),  Ladan Modecai, said “his action was ignited by the conviction that there was prospect for gas in Nigeria beyond its shores ’’.

He noted that such investment prospects abound in the development of upstream gas fields with a total of 37.4 trillion cubic feet, Trans-Nigeria gas pipeline project.

Also in gas revolution industrial park at Ogidigben FTZ, three power plants for additional 3.2GW capacity, licensing and establishment of several modular refineries.

Others include collocating a refinery within Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company, rehabilitation/upgrade of the refineries, revamp of liquefied petroleum gas and building of new CNG plants across the country as well as pipeline and storage tank construction.

The DPR boss, represented by the Deputy Manager, Gas Exploration and Production, Mr Joseph Ogunsola, said Nigeria must leverage its gas potential for sustainable development of the country.

“The National Gas Policy, Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme and Gas Network Code are key enablers in charting our path toward optimum Gas Development and Gas-Based Industrialisation.

“Most of the erstwhile constraints are being addressed in a holistic manner through government policies, reforms, and gas monetisation drive.

“Hitherto, absence of robust legislative, physical and commercial structures for gas and mono-product nature of the economy have militated against the achievement of gas utilisation’’, he said. Modecai called on stakeholders in the nation’s economy to shun blame game over the lingering incidence of gas flaring in the country.

He said that Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme remained the best panacea to stop flaring in Nigeria.

The director, who disclosed that there were over 170 flare locations spread across the Niger Delta, reiterated that achieving zero flares in Nigeria by 2020 would require up to USD 3 billion in investments.

He said that the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) would ensure positive impact to communities in the Niger Delta and monetise wasted gas resources in Nigeria. According to him, elimination of flared gas is a win for all parties across Nigeria.

“There is need to promote collaboration between private, public and social sectors with a view to ensuring commercially-viable investments with positive returns and minimise government’s action to streamline implementation,’’ Modecai said.

He reiterated Federal Government’s aspirations to grow oil and gas reserves to 40 billion barrels and 200 trillion cubic feet by 2020 and promote domestic gas supply sufficiency in the country. He said that the government was making efforts to boost domestic crude refining capacity by 50 per cent.

Modecai said it would also promote full price deregulation and liberalisation and create enabling environment for integrated petroleum products/gas distribution networks. In his remarks, Country Manager, Nigeria, Sasol Chemicals, Oscar Mdluli, emphasised the need for Nigeria to make its gas potential the centre-piece of its economic growth.

He also lauded the roles the DPR was playing in repositioning the country’s gas sector.