Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has launched the National Gas Transportation Network Code on the opening day of the third edition of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit (NIPS 2020) in Abuja.
During the event which was declared open by Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation on behalf of the President Muhammadu Buhari the Minister restated the need to use the enormous gas deposits in Nigeria to grow the nation’s economy as the government’s focus is to address the challenges in the sector.
The gas network code, according the Minister, stipulates terms and guidelines of gas transportation, specifically applying between gas producers, shippers and their agents. Its provisions allow a window of six months for legacy agreements to migrate onto the network code while new and intending agreements are expected to align with the new code.
Speaking during a panel session on the heels of the launch of the gas network code at the summit, Abel Nsa, Assistant Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) explained that the network code is a set of rules and contractual framework between producers and transporters.
“It provides transparency and a level playing field for everyone who wants to come into the gas system. It is like a protocol to move gas within the system,” Nsa said.
Mrs. Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, President of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), expressed the pleasure of her association at the launching of the code, adding that it will help Nigeria become a mature gas market.
“The code will attract more investors into pipeline infrastructure,” said Joe-Ezigbo.
Up till now, the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) has remained a sole operator providing pipeline infrastructure in the Nigerian gas market.
In his own contribution, Dr. Salihu Jamari, Managing Director of the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) noted that his company has been upgrading its facilities in expectation of the launching of the network code.
“We are making sure that metering is available at every point in the network. The Nigerian Gas Company is very much aware of its role in the implementation of the network code,” Jamari stated.
Nigeria’s huge gas reserves made people to describe the country as a gas province with a sprinkling of oil. According to data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the country has around 202 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of proven gas reserves plus about 600 TCF unproven gas reserves.
Over the years, the country’s relatively smaller oil reserves has been the major focus for government and international oil companies in the country who find it easier and more profitable to produce oil rather than gas. Government in recent years stepped up its effort to support gas development, grow the economy by opening the gas market through export and encourage domestic use of gas in power generation and household use.