A fair energy transition for Nigeria and its oil and gas sector will attract investment and create opportunities

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from African Chamber of Energy At 09/30/2021

OPINION – Fossil fuels may be the greatest concern for climate activists in Western countries, but they are also the most efficient source of energy mankind has developed. Therefore, the pressure to emphasize only renewable energies is a concern for African countries, which are still working to ensure reliable electricity supplies. These concerns are particularly acute in oil and gas producing countries like Nigeria, which lose both revenue and fuel if they fail to develop their resources.

This is the summary of the arguments and support for Nigeria from HE Chief Timipre Sylva, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in various platforms promoting Nigeria and Africa, who will be attending the upcoming African Energy Week, sponsored by the African Energy Chamber in partnership with the South African Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy.

This four-day forum, November 9-12, will bring together energy industry players from more than 20 nations to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing African oil, gas and renewables amid growing concerns about climate change.

Nigeria has been known as a petroleum power plant for decades, and there are good reasons for that. Our country is the largest oil producer in Africa, supplier of important energy markets worldwide and an important member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Nigeria also has some of the largest gas reserves in the world. Nigeria last had 206 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and associated gas in proven reserves, and that number is expected to rise to at least 230 trillion cubic feet by 2030. That is more than enough to meet current needs. It’s more than enough to support plans to build nine new gas-fired power plants with a combined generating capacity of nearly 6,000 MW by 2037. It is more than enough to make gas a viable fuel for existing and new industrial plants. It is enough to change this country from top to bottom. For this reason, President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the “Decade of Gas” initiative, which aims to fully supply Nigeria’s economy with gas by 2030.

And yet there are those who want us to leave this gas in the ground.

Why? For the sake of the climate, we are told – and we at the African Energy Chamber agree that this is a real concern that needs to be addressed, especially since Nigeria is sure to suffer as global average temperatures rise, water levels rise and that Weather patterns change.

So what will happen when we do this?

Certainly there will be some positive consequences. Nigeria has been praised by multilateral institutions such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), as well as by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Greenpeace. We’ll get good press coverage. Perhaps it is enough to get private investors to build new wind and solar parks. Perhaps it is enough to remind the world’s most advanced economies of their unfulfilled promise to mobilize $ 100 billion annually for climate protection.

But will that be enough to make up for the 6,000 MW of new gas generating capacity we’re not building? Will it be enough to eradicate the electricity shortages that have plagued Nigerian companies, forcing many of them to buy diesel generators just so they can keep running? Will it be enough to make blackouts a thing of the past for city dwellers who just want better lives for their families? Will it be enough to bring electricity to rural communities that are not yet connected to the national grid?

Also, will it be enough to offset the revenue that Nigeria is missing out on if it does not monetize a valuable natural resource? Will it be enough to compensate for the jobs that are not being created in gas fields and power plants? Will it be enough to support the industrial plants that could have used gas as fuel?

Another question: what if we don’t leave all that gas in the ground – if we develop it and make the most of it?

If Nigeria develops its gas it will be able to earn more. It will be able to produce more electricity and put an end to power shortages and blackouts. It will be able to supply gas to large industrial plants. It will be able to produce enough cooking gas – i.e. liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – to ensure families don’t depend on wood and charcoal fires, which cause enough pollution to kill hundreds of thousands of Africans each year. to prepare their meals.

In addition, it will also be able to use a low-carbon source of energy – gas, which has done more than any other fuel to reduce emissions in developed countries. Why should Nigeria forego this opportunity?

Why should Nigeria forego the benefits of gas?

The African Energy Chamber’s answer: It shouldn’t. Nigeria should not leave its gas in the ground and run the risk of an energy transition that is wrongly depriving its citizens of energy and opportunities. At the invitation of Secretary General Yury Sentyurin, our Executive Chairman, NJ Ayuk, spoke out strongly and passionately at the Gasexporting Countries Forum Workshop on Gas today.

Nigeria should be free from pressure to make its own decisions.


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