Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) estimates Nigeria’s proven natural gas reserves at 209.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) as of January 1, 2022.
The new figure, which was revealed by Farouk Ahmed, Chief Executive, NMDPRA, on Wednesday at the 2022 Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) in Abuja, represents a major increase of 2.97Tcf in proven natural gas reserves representing a 1.42 per cent increase from the 206.53Tcf recorded on January 1, 2021.
Ahmed was represented by Ogbugo Ukoha, Executive Director of Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure at NMDPRA, who stated the Nigerian economy would grow by 2.1 to 2.5 per cent by 2022.
He noted that, according to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, energy would drive Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth between 2.9 and 3.5 per cent.
He said, “Thankfully, Nigeria is endowed with enormous petroleum resources currently put at 37 billion Barrels of Crude oil reserves and 209.5 TCF of Natural Gas reserves as of January 2022.
“These resource size puts Nigeria at an enviable position within the comity of global hydrocarbon producers.
“Even in this era of global energy transition the oil and gas sector still remains pivotal to the Nigerian economy since it provides the needed cash flow for the functioning of other sectors of the economy but for how long?”
Nigeria, he claims, faces a race against time in order to derive maximum value from its hydrocarbon reserves and secure its energy the future.
He urged Nigeria to rethink its energy strategies, which were a key tool for economic liberation and national development, and to take into account shifts in demand and clamour for cleaner fuels.
He said, “It is imperative that going forward all stakeholders must deliberately adopt strategies that embolden and underpin these three core principles.
“Adoption of low carbon technologies across all operations in the oil and gas value chain, deepening and penetration of natural gas utilisation domestically to increase energy sufficiency and reduce energy poverty and invest conscientiously in cleaner fuels and renewables.”
He added that the authority was committed to encouraging industry participants through its regulatory services instruments to invest in the midstream and downstream spaces.