MD/CEO outlines ‘Enablers’ for successful gas development in Nigeria February 20, 2008
The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Jacques Marraud des Grottes on Wednesday, 20th February 2008 took a critical look at Nigeria ’s Gas potentials and concluded that although the country has the world’s 7th largest proven gas reserves, some key enablers were needed if the government’s new vision for the sector is to become a reality. Mr. Marraud Des Grottes who spoke at the 8th Nigeria Oil & Gas (NOG) Conference in Abuja said in addition to exploration enablers, the government also needed to pay attention to development and production enablers as well as work environment enablers in order to fast-track the development of the sector.
In a presentation entitled, “Potentials and Enablers of Gas Development in Nigeria”, the MD/CEO said although Nigeria boasts gas reserves of about 180 Tcf, gas-focused exploration has yet to start onshore in the country, even though there were ongoing attempts in offshore gas-focused exploration.
He emphasized the need for Nigerian authorities to assure International Oil Companies (IOCs) of “long term sanctity of (gas production sharing) contracts” with the “freedom to sell discovered gas to the highest bidders in a free market.” The MD/CEO said the responsibility for creating an enabling work environment for gas exploration rests on both the Federal Government and the IOCs who must cooperate with their host communities.
“The IOCs are ready to partner with the Federal Government in its new economic agenda as long as the right business environment/commercially robust business models supported by law were created and companies and Joint Ventures are supported by the government to attract capital independently”.
He added that the contractors and sub-contractors’ confidence must be restored as a pre-requisite for successful gas exploration. Mr. Marraud Des Grottes said although Total had already recorded tremendous success in its gas flare out initiative (down to about 10%), the company was targeting zero flare out in its operations by 2011.
The MD/CEO cited the example of the Egi Community power plant, a project supported by Total, which currently generates about 13MW of uninterrupted electricity to 40,000 people 24/7 as an example of partnership initiatives between Total and its host communities, adding that other IOCs should copy the example.