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FG to finalize FID on Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline by December

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The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari has said that the Final Investment Decision for the $25bn Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project will be made in December 2024.

Kyari made the disclosure while speaking during a Leadership Dialogue Session at the ongoing CERAWeek Conference in Houston, United States.

According to him, the project, which is at an advanced stage, will create a pipeline that will pass through thirteen African countries to Europe.

Kyari stated that the NNPC Ltd’s focus is to build its capacity to deliver gas to the domestic market and beyond.

He pointed out that as a gas-endowed country, Nigeria must utilise its abundant gas resources to provide the alternative fuel that it needs.

“We understand the arguments towards attaining energy transition, but the cheapest way to achieve that is through gas. We see clear opportunities that gas creates. Today we are building a number of trunklines and other gas infrastructure that will supply gas to a number of gas networks,” Kyari said.

Kyari also said Nigeria was fighting the menace of crude oil theft frontally and through the joint efforts of government and private security agencies, there have been some reasonable improvements in the restoration of the nation’s crude oil production.

He added, “It is an abnormal situation, but it is well within control. We were able to recover some of our production and build back confidence so that investors could bring in their money. We are also doing global advocacy to governments and institutions because stolen oil has to be taken to the market.”

He said an example of the improved security situation was when in 2022, Nigeria’s production fell below one million barrels per day but has now been restored to 1.7 million barrels per day.

As global calls for transition to cleaner energy fuels continue to grow, Kyari also advocated for a differentiated approach to attaining energy transition for the African continent.

According to him, energy transition is a very difficult subject for countries especially in sub-Saharan Africa because geographically, the situations are different as a number of the countries are dealing with energy availability, not transition.

“The world has seen all the challenges thrown up recently by geopolitical events. It is clear that before the energy transition, countries must first attain security of energy supply in their countries. You cannot talk about energy security when it is not even available.

“In most of sub-Saharan Africa, 70 percent of the population doesn’t have access to clean cooking fuels. Therefore, you must fill the supply gap first,” the NNPC Ltd GCEO stated.

Organised by S&P Global, the conference has grown in recent years to accommodate new energy technologies and climate issues. The 2024 conference is expected to have participants from over 90 countries and will feature 1,400 speakers.

Under the theme “Multidimensional Energy Transition: Markets, Climate, Technology and Geopolitics” the CERAWeek 2024 will explore “strategies for a multidimensional, multispeed and multifuel energy transition,” as the global energy industry tries to respond to, and offer insight into the roadmap towards, growing demand for emissions reductions and moving towards cleaner forms of energy.

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Bonga is asset of the year in Shell group

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Nigeria’s premier deep-water development, Bonga, operated by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) has won the coveted Asset of the Year award in the Shell Group for 2023, the latest recognition of its best-in-class performance in Safety, Environment and Asset Management.

Bonga had clinched same award in 2016 and was first runner up in the same category in 2019 for improved production, maintenance, problem-resolving capability, operational excellence and cost ownership.

The asset won again this year beating targets in oil production, plant availability, and greenhouse gas emissions. The asset also recorded zero fatalities and spills. “This is a testament to a culture of excellence which has endured at Bonga since first oil in 2005,” SNEPCo Managing Director Elohor Aiboni said of the award. “We appreciate the hard work of staff and contractors as well as the support of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and our co-venturers – TotalEnergiesNigeria Limited, Nigerian Agip Exploration and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited which has enabled Bonga to continue to safely and efficiently deliver value to stakeholders.”

Among other factors, SNEPCo has relied on a motivated workforce, cutting-edge technology and a relentless drive on safety to deliver oil and gas at record levels at Bonga. Last year, the Floating, Production, Storage, Offloading (FPSO) vessel, which is at the heart of the operations, achieved the one billionth barrel of crude oil export. Overall, Bonga produced 138,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2023 compared to around 101,000 in 2022.

The latest award for Bonga adds to a lengthy list of laurels won by Shell in Nigeria in the past few years. In 2022 alone, Shell Companies in Nigeria were recognised as Best International Company of the Year (Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria), Upstream Company of the Year (Nigeria International Energy Summit) and Leading Tax Compliant Firm in Nigeria (Federal Inland Revenue Service.)

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FG, UAE plan new oil exploration deal

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The Federal Government, on Monday, urged the United Arab Emirates to invest in the renewal and reconstruction of the more than 50-year-old oil pipelines in Nigeria, stressing that the facilities had outlived their lifespans.

It also stated that Nigeria and the UAE were on the same page concerning oil exploration as crude oil drilling would not be abandoned despite calls for its abandonment in some quarters.

The Minister of State for Petroleum (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, disclosed this in Abuja while playing host to a delegation from the UAE led by the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Nigeria, Salem Al Shamsi.

Lokpobiri said, “This country has enormous investment opportunities, our pipelines need renewal. They have been there for over 50 years since Nigeria found oil in commercial quantities in 1956/1958.

“And from then till now it is almost 70 years and most of those pipelines were built around that time and have already outlived their lifespans. And even if you can produce, you need to evacuate to the terminals where you would export.

“So it is an opportunity that we are looking up to potential investors from the UAE to come and invest here and recover their money through those investments.”

The minister told his guests that the investment models would be very attractive.

“Part of what we are proposing is that if you come and invest you will get your money, for as you transport the crude you’ll take it. Proportionately you’ll recover your investments, for any barrel of crude you transport through your pipes, you have to recover your investment by placing mutually agreeable charges,” he stated.

Lokpobiri further stated that Nigeria has over 208 trillion cubic feet of gas, adding that “we in Nigeria know that these records are over 20 years. We can double or triple our gas reserves in Nigeria. So Nigeria is more of a gas country than even crude.”

He said, “And even our crude reserves, I’m very confident that the 37 billion barrels we are talking about are also records of about 20 years. So even in terms of crude deposits in volumes, we believe that we should be doing much more than that.

“That is why when this government came on board, part of what was said was that we have to resume our drilling campaigns to ensure that we make more discoveries and sustain the momentum, and we are achieving that by liberalising the processes.”

He said the government was trying to eliminate the bureaucracy which had been one of the reasons why some of these investments were delayed.

“Of course, you know that following the introduction of the Petroleum Industry Act, the NNPC is now run as a national oil company that is to make profit for shareholders and Nigerians.

“So we want to assure the UAE that Nigeria is open for investments and we are committed to deepening our very strategic relationship with the UAE. I am happy that the visa issue has been addressed,” the Minister stated.

Lokpobiri told the ambassador that Nigeria and the UAE would continue to leverage their membership of OPEC to work as partners, adding that the Nigerian market is huge for investments, whether in LPG, CNG or the entire value chain in the oil and gas sector.

He said Nigeria lacks the amount of dollars required for suitable investments in the oil sector, but noted that the UAE has billions of dollars that could be invested in Nigeria and recovered by the investors.

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TCN: Electricity to be restored in North-East region by May 27

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has informed governors of North-East states that efforts are underway to restore electricity to the region by May 27, 2024, in line with previous commitments.

In a circular signed by the spokesperson of the commission, Ndidi Mbah, on Tuesday, TCN reported that its team is actively rebuilding the four towers that were destroyed by vandals in the region, and requested a bit of patience as the reconstruction progresses.

Mbah also mentioned that the commission has required contractors to install on-site machines to accelerate the fabrication processes of tower components, which is currently in progress.

“The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) wishes to assure the North East Governors Forum (NEGF) that we are doing everything possible in our power to ensure the restoration of power supply to the North Eastern axis of the country, as earlier indicated in our press release of 10th May 2024.

“Our team has been tirelessly working to rebuild the four towers destroyed by vandals, and we will not rest until power is restored to all the affected areas. We appeal for a little more patience, as work is truly advancing.

“To expedite the work, we have insisted that the contractor put in place on-site machines that will help increase the fabrication processes of tower members which is ongoing.

“We expect power supply to be restored by May 27, 2024, through the new 330kV transmission line, allowing Yola and Jos DisCos to offtake and distribute optimally from TCN substations,” the circular read in part.

Recall that in April, the TCN had reported that four of its towers on the Jos–Gombe 330kV transmission line were vandalized.

According to Mbah, the transmission line initially tripped and despite attempts by the company’s operators to restore it, it happened once more.

Mbah explained that this led to the deployment of TCN operators who were sent out to trace and rectify the fault along the line.

She added that while tracing the fault, TCN’s engineering crew discovered that towers 288, 289, 290, and 291 were vandalised and some parts carted away.

Many states in Nigeria continue to suffer from vandalism of electricity infrastructures, often leading to power outages that can last for weeks or even months.

Last month, TCN reported incidents of vandalism of its towers five times in February.

It noted that the destruction of its facilities counts as sabotage and urged security operatives and host communities to work towards bringing the culprits to book.

Meanwhile, following the report, Mbah noted that efforts by TCN are currently mobilising for repair works on the affected facility.

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