Gas: Stakeholders task Federal Government on investment, infrastructure

Federal Government has been urged by stakeholders in the Nigeria’s oil and gas industry  to work towards the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, into law without further delay in order to stimulate investment in the key segments of the industry, especially gas.

The stakeholders from a recent webinar on, ‘The Role of Natural Gas in post-COVID Economic Recovery’, in Lagos, organised by Nigerian Gas Association, NGA, stated: “There should be an emphasis on the passage of the PIB to begin addressing the operating environment and trigger the multiplier effect from the petroleum sector to other areas of the economy.

The prevailing twin economic headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic and Nigeria’s weak fiscal position from falling crude oil export revenue, necessitate the urgent need for stakeholders in the natural gas industry to collaborate on evolving game-changing and sustainable critical policy steps, industry operations strategies, innovative funding models, and broad fiscal incentives to navigate the anticipated shocks.

The stakeholders further stated: “The Nigeria National Gas Policy and the related Gas Revolution programme, hold potential for deepening the domestic gas market. Thus, stakeholders could use the current economic challenges to permanently position the domestic gas industry for energy transition by optimising gas export revenue, diversifying the local economy with environmentally sustainable heavy industries, and switching home cooking from dirty fuels to cleaner-burning alternatives.

“The national policy on gas should focus more on deepening domestic consumption capacity by supporting the development of gas-based industries, gas-fuelled transportation systems, gas delivery infrastructure and gas-driven industrial hubs. The case study of Qatar leveraging its gas endowment for revolutionary development and growth of its domestic economy was cited as the way to go.

“Post pandemic economic recovery would depend mainly on structural gas demand in the industrial and service sectors that employ many workers, including textiles, agriculture, and power producers; the ability of gas infrastructure developers to access funding, and construction schedules for infrastructure projects.’

“The government should recommit to a robust investment in gas infrastructure and delivery channels that would encourage investors to take initiatives in virtual pipeline solutions to deepen market penetration and grow domestic consumption. The panel pointed out critical success factors for virtual pipeline sustainability includes pricing mechanism based on market forces; development of skill pools for running the system at different pressure regimes; roles of multiple internal regulators across government agencies; fiscal palliatives and tax regimes.”

Investigations show that many investors have already staked their resources in LPG facilities, including storage tanks, distribution trucks, and production of cylinders and accessories in virtually all parts of the nation, thus bringing the product much closer to the people.