The Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Andrew Obaje, has called for effective utilisation of the nation’s abundant gas resources, saying it was key to boosting Nigeria’s economic prosperity.
The director made the call during an inspection of Nipco Plc,an indigenous downstream operator in Lagos.He said that gas was not only important to the nation as a natural resource, but also as a major source of revenue.
According to him: “Nigeria has proven gas reserves of over 182 trillion cubic feet and is currently ranked 7th in global production and it is three times as substantial as crude oil reserves.
“ However, the nation’s penetration rate of LPG is estimated at 0.4kg per capita and total consumption at 60,000 MT as against its potential capacity of 580,000 MT at an average consumption of 3.8kg per capita.”
Despite the potential, he lamented that the country’s gas sector was relatively underdeveloped with low level of domestic utilisation partly due to paucity of requisite infrastructure to transport it from oil producing areas to consumers and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage facility.
Obaje noted that in view of this staggering statistics, the department had been at the forefront of encouraging genuine investors like Nipco to join hands with government to make the nation achieve better results in gas utilisation.
The director expressed delight on the state of the art facilities put in place by the company to ensure easy access to LPG as a cooking fuel, added that the visit had afforded him the opportunity to have a firsthand information and physical assessment of the company’s operation.
On the LPG Skid which the organisation was inaugurating across the country for better access to gas refilling for household and industrial purposes, he said it was a laudable feat especially when viewed from the point of growing benefits in gas usage as an energy source.
“As a regulator, I am very impressed with the safety and standard nature of the facility and the vision of the company to bring LPG and CNG to the market. Keep the flag flying and ensure that you continuously comply with statutory obligations”, he urged.
In his remarks, Managing Director, Nipco Plc ,Mr Venkatapathy Venkataraman, explained that since inception in 2004, the company has not recorded any untoward action in the course of operation, as safety remained a cardinal principle in the organisation.
He brought to the fore the exploits of the company in both white products storage and marketing as well as its new foray into the gas market, noting that all the investments were borne out of the belief of the promoters in the resilience of the Nigerian economy.