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Nigeria signs MoU with Equatorial Guinea to develop, supply natural gas

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Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea on Tuesday signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to supply gas from Nigerian offshore fields to the neighbouring Equatorial Guinea Gas Processing Facility at Punta Europa.

This MOU kicks off a strategic economic collaboration across the Gulf of Guinea wherein Nigeria’s abundant natural gas reserves compliments Equatorial Guinea’s world class Gas Processing and Liquefaction infrastructure.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources,  Chief Timipre Sylva, stated this in Abuja at the MoU signing on the sideline of ongoing fifth Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES 2022).

The Minister said that the Execution of the MOU met one of the imperatives of the “Decade of Gas” in Nigeria

Sylva said the recent passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) coupled with “Nigeria’s Decade of Gas” initiative together created an enabling environment which triggered conception of the project, facilitating major investment inflow from Equatorial Guinea into Nigeria.

The project, according to him, also signals the joint effort of the two countries in working towards a greener energy world.

“Whilst we are focused on the domestic gas agenda, we are keeping an eye on the global gas market as well.

“Nigeria has huge gas resources, a significant amount of which is offshore and will require unprecedented investment in infrastructure to bring them to market.

“This collaboration allows much of that stranded gas to access the global gas market within 18 to 24 months in what will be the fastest timeline to market for a Nigerian offshore gas asset.

“This is possible because Equatorial Guinea brings to the table a major portfolio of world class gas processing and liquefaction infrastructure already in place in Punta Europa, coupled with investment funds for development,” he said.

Additionally, he said the project, which envisioned an offshore gas pipeline development, would also create huge in-country local content opportunities for pipeline and other infrastructure service providers.

This is in addition to accelerated royalty revenues that come from producing many gas fields that would have otherwise remained stranded.

Mr. Gabriel Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, stated that the execution of the MOU was a great example of the South-South cooperation between neighbouring Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.

“As the global geopolitics of natural gas evolves and within the context of the world transitioning to a lower carbon footprint, it was imperative that we think differently on how to remain an important player in energy markets.

“New, fast, and competitive sources will be a major determinant of success.

“This strategic collaboration breaks down geographical boundaries and allows delivery of gas from Nigeria to Equatorial Guinea’s Punta Europa facilities, extending their life and providing access to the regional and global energy markets,” he said.

He noted that the NNPC and its’ JV partners could get a unique opportunity to monetise gas that would have otherwise been stranded offshore due to absence of infrastructure.

According to him, as the world dynamics change, Nigeria aims to adapt rapidly to ensure that we remain at the forefront of credible gas exporters.

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Energy

Investigation underway on Ogboinbiri-Tebidada pipeline leak – Agip

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The Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) says investigation has begun on a leak from its Ogboinbiri-Tebidada pipeline in  Bayelsa.

The company made the disclosure in a  statement by its parent firm, the Eni Group, and made available to newsmen in Yenagoa on Friday.

It said that although the oil spill had been traced to a ruptured pipe, a joint investigation visit to the incident site was necessary to ascertain the cause.

“Joint investigation visits with representatives of the authorities and the communities are ongoing to ascertain the facts and to agree on the way forward,” the company stated.

The people of Olugboboro community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa have already written to the state government to intervene on the matter.

The community had appealed to the state government to support the residents with relief materials to cushion the impact of the spill.

According to community sources, the spill which occured about two months ago along Ogboinbiri/Tebitada pipeline, has affected their sources of livelihood.

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Energy

IPMAN urges NNPC to increase fuel allocation to reduce queues

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The Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to increase fuel allocation to its members to reduce queues in filling stations.

IPMAN National Vice President, Alhaji Hammed Fasola, said in an interview with the newsmen in Ibadan on Friday that the fuel scarcity was due to low allocation.

According to him, if members of IPMAN get the product directly from NNPC, the price per litre will be affordable for Nigerians and the queues will reduce.

He says its members sell petrol at a higher price from other major marketers or depot owners because they get the product exorbitantly from third parties.

According to him, the association has presented its position on PMS allocation to NNPC, calling on it to allocate as much as 50 per cent as it used to be in the past.

“It is not that we don’t get at all, we are getting a little, and when you compare our number in this sector; our members own 80 per cent of the filling stations.

“In the past, it was not like this.

“We had a share of 50 per cent but recently, things have changed, and we are trying to talk to the authorities, especially the NNPC that they have to correct that abnormality.

“We are still trying to address the issue. This is why the independent marketers are selling at a higher price, which is not good for our image,” Fasola said.

He stated that its members were being pushed to private depot owners “And we don’t find it palatable.

“We go there sometimes, and they will sell at N720 per litre, and in their own stations, they are selling N620 or N650 per litre; you can see the disparity and the public will not understand.

“This is why we are trying to educate the people that we are not shrewd businesspeople who want to milk Nigerians.

“Some filling stations have closed for business because they can’t cope – this is the situation we found ourselves in; until the government corrects it and everybody is on the same level.

“We are appealing to NNPC to correct this, so we can get our product directly as we used to do; that will be good for everybody,” he said.

On the purported increase in PMS pump price by some Nigerians, Fasola said its association had not received any information to that effect.

“We should take it as fake news,” he said.

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Energy

FG offers free CNG conversion for commercial vehicles

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The Federal Government, on Thursday, declared that the conversion of petrol and diesel-powered commercial vehicles to run on Compressed Natural Gas is going to be free of charge.

It declared this in Abuja after signing agreements with various companies involved in the conversion of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles to operate on CNG.

It said commercial transporters under their different unions including the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, National Union of Road Transport Workers, and Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, among others, would benefit from this.

The Programme Director/Chief Executive, Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative, Michael Oluwagbemi, disclosed this to journalists after the government agency signed agreements with various companies in Abuja.

He said, “Today we’ve just signed with five partners with us here in the Federal Capital Territory that are participating in the Conversion Incentive Programme.

“The programme is tackling the barrier to Nigerian commercial transport operators to convert from PMS (petrol) to gas. Most of them have said that the cost of conversion is expensive, and so what we are doing here today is basically to respond to that concern.

“What is the government doing about it? First and foremost, for commercial operators that are unionised, I’m talking about the members of RTEAN, NARTO, and NURTW, through their unions they can benefit 100 per cent discount. That is, they will get the kits for free and installation will also be done for them for free.

“And this is going to be done through these certified conversion workshops that we are beginning to identify. We’ve identified about 123 of them, five of them are here with us today that we are going to be working with here in Abuja. As we expand across the country we will be activating more of them,” Oluwagbemi stated.

He said the second group of commercial transporters were the ride-share operators.

“So if you are a vehicle rider that is operating under Uber, Bolt, Lag-Ride, Move, etc, you will be able to also benefit from this programme. Today we have Bolt here with us that is signing and we hope to add the others very soon. Lag-Ride has already signed up and we are going to send the agreement next week.

“They will be able to benefit from a 50 per cent write-off on the equipment and then they will get installation for free. So that means the government will pay for these conversion workshops to install the equipment you will get at 50 per cent off.

“And because of the arrangement we have with these companies, you’ll be able to also get to pay little by little. So you’re not paying any money upfront on day one,” Oluwagbemi stated.

The P-CNGI director said through the implementation of this programme, Nigerians would start paying less for transportation.

He said, “We have over 20,000 kits that are immediately going to be available in the next three months through this programme. We will be distributing them across the states that have some CNG capacity or the other. The states are about 25 in number.

“This will ensure that the citizens within these states, the unions and ride-share operators would-be participants of the 20,000 potential kits that will be made available under this programme. The 20,000 kits were made available under the palliative initiative that was budgeted for last year.

“But the National Assembly has made additional funding available this year, and we will be rolling out additional kits once the necessary acquisition of materials is made available to us by the third or fourth quarter of this year.”

On the agreement that was signed in Abuja, he said, “It (agreement) is saying that in return for giving you these kits, you will also pass on the savings to ordinary Nigerians. So we will begin to have some impact in terms of transportation.”

Asked to state how the government would monitor the conversion centres, Oluwagbemi said, “We have a very strong monitoring mechanism around conversion as well as the enforcement of reduced pricing for Nigerians. The Nigerian gas vehicle monitoring system ensures that they are properly converted and then we can track them.

“Secondly, within the framework of the agreement we are signing with them, we’ve agreed on some significant pass-on of those savings that they will be realising. As they realise the savings, they are under obligation to report to us and make sure that the savings are passed on to ordinary Nigerians so that we do not defeat the purpose of the palliative.”

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