The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva has said Nigeria’s recent drive to fully deregulate her downstream petroleum sector is capable of promoting the use of gas as a cheaper alternative to petrol.
The minister while speaking at the 26th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit Pre-Summit event which featured talks on domestic gas utilization, said the federal government was keen on leveraging Nigeria’s gas resources to address the country’s energy challenges.
Sylva noted that the country has barely made the most of its huge gas deposit which was put at 200.79 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in 2019 by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and could last for 92 years, adding that it remained one of the top ten global gas flaring nations with up to 321.29 billion cubic feet (bcf) representing around 11 per cent of total produced gas flared annually.
Through the National Gas Expansion Program (NGEP) which was recently launched and the government’s full deregulation of the downstream sector, gas as a cheaper alternative to petrol for transportation, power generation and other domestic uses could gain prominence, according to him.
He described the NGEP as the government’s current flagship program which sought to promote domestic utilisation of natural gas, adding that it has subcommittees on Autogas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Gas Based Industries; all with the potential to alter Nigeria’s energy consumption pattern.
“With the current drive of the government to establish a fully deregulated PMS market, it is imperative to ensure that Nigerians have access to alternative fuels which are cheaper and give great value to the consumer. Vehicles can be retrofitted to run on LPG, LNG or CNG which are cheaper than PMS. Generators can also be retrofitted to utilise dual fuels,” Sylva said.