New Telegraph

Gas: Global apathy threatens Nigeria’s 16.2m tons export target

Low gas export to various destinations on the global market has pushed Nigeria to shift to domestic market for buyers. New Telegraph’s findings revealed that only four vessels left Onne Port with 258, 571 tonnes of gas between April and May 2023 due to low demand from European buyers as price reached $674.47 per tonne. Further findings showed that the tonnage was far lower than the 656, 914 tonnes shipped out during the same period in 2022. It is feared that this may hamper Nigeria’s plans to achieve 16.2 million tonnes of gas export this year. According to Nigerian Ports Authority (NPS)’s Ship- ping Position, only LNG Port Harcourt with 69,454 tonnes is expected at Huelva Port in Spain in May, 2023.

Also, MARAN Gas Chios laden with 57,064 tonnes sailed to Fujairah Anch Port in United Arab Emirates as LNG Kano iheads towards the Port of Dahej, India, while LNG Akwa Ibom is still lurking within West African waters with 66,000 tonnes as Nigeria has not been able to meet gas obligations to some countries. However, Nigeria LNG Limited has shifted to domes- tic market to bridge the gap by halting export of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to other countries. The company had said that all its gas would be sup- plied to the local market in order to boost supply and ease prices. The board of NLNG had endorsed the new decision, noting that in the coming months, the impact of the latest action would be felt by Nigerians. Currently, NLNG is the highest single supplier of LPG into the domestic mar- ket, with an estimated 400,000 metric tonnes supplied in 2021.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Philip Mshelbila, explained that in 2021, NLNG increased its LPG supply commitment from 350,000 metric tonnes (or 28 million 12.5kg cylinders) to actual delivery of 400,000 metric tonnes (or 32 million 12.5kg cylinders), thereby directing most of its production into the domestic market. He added: “This commit- ment to do all that we possibly can and supply 100 per cent of our LPG production to the do- mestic market.” Mshelbila noted that the focus on domestic market marked the company’s strong commitment to its passion to increase the utilisation of one of the most versatile energy sources in the world. According to him, “com- mitting 100 per cent of our LPG supply is a major milestone in our journey of domestic gas supply. We sup- plied our first butane cargo into the domestic market in 2007, which helped to develop over the years the LPG indus- try in Nigeria from less than 50,000 tonnes to over one mil- lion tonnes market size annu- ally by the end of 2020.”

He stressed that gas was an essential energy source to be reckoned with during this energy transition period. Mshelbila said: “Other countries are revolutionising their energy industry to cut down on carbon emissions drastically. Nigeria should not be left out in this drive, considering its abundant gas resources. “Gas is essential for life and living at the moment because it can support every- thing we will need to develop our economy and create bet- ter living standards for Nige- rians. We need to change the narrative, and NLNG is being pragmatic about it.”

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