Stakeholders seek domestication of gas resources as price soars

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Guardianng Aug. 26, 2021 4:16 a.m.

Stakeholders seek domestication of gas resources as price soars

“Petroleum production is good for nothing if its development does not improve the quality of life of the people, not just the elite, if sustainable development is to be optimised.” Special Advisers to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources on Gas Business Development, Branda Ataga equally expressed the need to domesticate gas development in the country.

Cooking gas Cylinders PHOTO: iStock Unless Nigeria domesticates development of gas resources, especially with a N250 billion-intervention fund released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, government’s National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) may remain elusive, stakeholders have said.

Indeed, with over 50 per cent of the resources being imported into the country despite huge gas reserves hovering above 206 trillion standard cubic feet, stakeholders believe that domestication could reduce the price, spur investment opportunities, reduce burden on foreign exchange, provide unemployment and strengthen the development of the downstream sector.

Currently, a kilogramme of cooking gas, which traded for about N300 earlier this year now sells for over N500 across the country on the backdrop of vulnerable economic indexes, especially the continuous weakness of the naira and the increasing price of natural and refined gas at the international market.

While the price of Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has doubled and an autogas policy of the Federal government is struggling to thrive, the government recently launched the NGEP backed by the N250 billion fund to further deepen the domestic gas market.

An energy expert, Charles Majomi noted that unless domesticated, gas prices would continue to increase, saying: “the market is likely to tighten further as uncertainty around finance and investments in fossil fuels projects, brought about by the advance of renewables, is likely to cause a pull back in upstream production.

Coupled with the increasing cost of living in the country, increasing unemployment, unabated increase in poverty rate; the vast majority of Nigerians will be pushed to resort to fuel wood for cooking hence increasing deforestation in the country,” Adeleke said..

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