Nigeria is blessed with large reserves of hydrocarbon wealth, most of which are still untapped. At the last count, according to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigeria’s proven natural gas reserves are at 200.79 trillion standard cubic feet (Tscf) as last January, while the reserves expected to be discovered are at 600Tscf.
Until recently, the focus was on crude oil from which refined products such as premium motor spirit (petrol), household kerosene and aviation fuel as well as automotive gas oil (diesel) were derived. Gas was given less attention as most of the associated gas was flared while ignoring gas fields.
However, gas has become the preferred fuel because it is safer and more environmentally friendly than other fossil fuels. The late recognition of the gas value made Nigeria one of the lowest gas users, including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas despite being an LPG manufacturer.
According to data, Nigeria is among large producers of LPG in the world.
Experts and stakeholders believe that harnessing and deepening of LPG consumption can serve as an engine and catalyst for the economy and for the benefit of Nigerians.
According to them, it is important to create sustainable growth for the LPG sector through systematic and concerted efforts by all stakeholders if the Federal Government is to reach its target of LPG consumption of five million metric tons per year (MTPA) in Nigeria by 2023.
The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has set aside 350,000 MTPA of LPG for domestic consumption, but experts demand a practical upward review.
Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, has declared 2020 as the nation’s “Year of Gas” in a renewed drive by the government.
“In addition to household consumption, the government is also moving towards increasing the use of LPG in areas such as agriculture, transportation, and manufacturing. This will allow Nigeria to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by around 20% and create around 450,000 direct jobs.
Also, Mr. Nuhu Yakubu, President of the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA), said there was a need to continue LPG penetration efforts. He called for a partnership between stakeholders in government and industry to optimize LPG’s capacity for the country’s benefit.