THE Federal Government on Thursday said the value of Nigeria’s proven gas reserves of about 206.53 trillion cubic feet was over $803.4tn, adding that the country had the most extensive gas resource in Africa.
It also stated that the European Union had proposed categorising natural gas as a green energy source, as this would impact favourably on Nigeria due to the country’s abundant natural gas reserves.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, disclosed this at the 2022 Annual Public Lecture of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Bwari Branch, Abuja.
Speaking on the lecture’s theme, “Inclusive Energy Transition: Key Issues, Investment Opportunities and Barriers Towards Achieving the Decades of Gas Initiative in Nigeria,” Sylva explained that markets alone would not drive the energy transition at a sufficient pace or scale to address the climate challenge from an investment standpoint.
He said, “The Federal Government has a key role to play in energising the private sector to act so that Nigeria’s economy can compete with the rest of the global economy.
“Consequently, on our part, the government typically has three major priorities when setting energy policies: security of supply, economic competitiveness, and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
“At present, only gas can meet all three priorities simultaneously. This puts Nigeria with approximately 206.53 trillion cubic feet of proven gas valued at over $803.4tn and potential upside of 600TCF of gas, the most extensive in Africa, and in the top 10 globally.”
He added, “And luckily for Nigeria, the European Union has proposed labelling natural gas as a ‘green energy’ source, a development that could translate into huge economic value for Nigeria.”
The minister said Nigeria was following a transition pathway that combined technology, investment, business strategies, and government policy that would enable the country to transition from its current energy system to a low-carbon energy system.
Sylva noted that natural gas would be playing a pivotal role in this transition over the next generation, roughly between now and 2060.
He said, “Natural gas is a key resource for a just energy transition and has all the credentials to support Nigeria meets up with her commitment with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
“Natural gas will play a critical and long-term role in achieving energy security and enhancing environmental outcomes for Nigerians as the global energy sector undergoes unprecedented change.”
He said Nigeria was well-positioned to pioneer future natural gas technology and compete in global markets that were constantly changing, adding that the country had huge natural gas reserves and a highly skilled workforce.