The Nigeria LNG Limited has said Nigeria needs at least 15 Liquefied Natural Gas trains to be able to stay competitive in the global natural gas markets.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NLNG, Mr Tony Attah, said the Train 7 project, for which final investment decision was taken in December 2019, was no longer ambitious for the country.
“We need to monetise our gas now,” he said at the Nigeria Oil & Gas Strategic Outlook Digital Session, with the theme ‘Fortifying the Nigerian oil and gas industry for economic stability and growth’ on Tuesday.
He noted that with the support of its stakeholders, the NLNG was able to take the FID for Train 7 after over 15 years of efforts.
“But then we look to the future and recognise that the future is also changing with the energy transition and changing energy needs,” he said.
According to Attah, the country has over 200 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves, the ninth-largest in the world, with the potential for a further 600Tcf in unproven reserves.
He said, “I think it is about time Nigeria really took advantage of the resource because as we can tell in the energy transition, oil will be downplayed because the world wants cleaner energy.
“I believe it’s time for Nigeria to take a bold step forward with respect to gas as the main resource. I think it is time for us to take advantage and position Nigeria for the future in the light of the energy transition. We have gas but it is not about what you have but what you do with it.”
According to him, Nigeria is currently number five in terms of LNG exports in the world.
He said, “We have been dropping but on the back of Train 7, we hope to gain ground again. Train 7 is going to increase our LNG capacity from 22 million tonnes to 30 million tonnes. But then, I heard that Qatar, in the same vein of growing into the future, wants to add 30 million tonnes.
“Now, we are aspiring to add eight million tonnes to go to 30 million tonnes but another country is adding 30 million. I think that tells me that Train 7 is no longer ambitious enough for Nigeria.”
He stressed the need to start maturing Train 8, 9 and 10 and then look to the future with an ambition of nothing less than Train 15 in order to harness the full value of the huge gas reserves in the country.
Attah said, “So, we have to set out eyes on the bigger game of Train 8,9,10 and well into the future to at least Train 15 to be able to stay in reckoning and continue to deliver value, like we have seen in the case of Qatar, growing our economy on the back of gas.”
The NLNG boss noted that a growing number of countries had started turning down fossil fuel-based liquids by encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles.
“Oil is definitely running out of time. We are very rich in gas. This then the opportunity to reposition ahead of the changing energy mix and do more with gas to bring about that greater future for Nigeria and Nigerians,” he added.