The Federal Government has stated its resolve to support the long term gas supply security for the European Union countries as part of measures to expand the nation’s gas market across veritable frontiers.
Speaking after discussions with Günther Oettinger, the EU Energy Commissioner, on the margins of the 11th EU-OPEC Energy Dialogue Ministerial Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, the Minister of Petroleum Resources and Alternate President of the OPEC Conference, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, said the country is prime to explore its gas potentials to the fullest. .
The discussions focused on the role Nigeria can play in supporting the EU’s energy sector priorities, and particularly the long-term security and diversification of gas supplies. Mrs Alison-Madueke highlighted that gas production has increased to over 8 billion cubic feet per day, and Nigeria is the eighth largest gas producer in the world, and sixth largest gas supplier to Europe.
Mrs Alison-Madueke emphasised that Nigeria has over 180 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of discovered reserves and up to 600 tcf of undiscovered gas reserves, noting that significant investment is planned to support expansion of the sector in the coming years. While increasing domestic power generation is a priority for the government, export capacity will also rapidly grow, particularly as new LNG projects are completed, She noted.
Mr Oettinger said that he recognise the long-term potential of Nigeria’s energy sector and would welcome further discussions to explore ways for greater collaboration between the EU and Nigeria.
Speaking further, Mrs. Alison-Madueke observed: It was an extremely productive meeting with Mr. Oettinger, and I look forward to continuing to work with him to build an even stronger relationship between Nigeria and the EU.”
Earlier , Mrs Alison-Madueke had given a keynote address at the Ministerial Meeting, in her role as Alternate President of the OPEC Conference, during which she highlighted the strength of the trade and energy relations between OPEC and the EU countries. She noted that OPEC countries supply the EU with over thirty per cent of annual oil consumption and nearly twenty per cent of annual gas demand.
She highlighted the role of OPEC in ensuring stability, transparency and predictability in the international oil markets, which is essential as the global economies recover and strengthen. Mrs. Alison-Madueke stated that in the long term, OPEC member countries will continue to play an essential role, and it is anticipated that they will provide as much as 11 million barrels per day (Mbpd) out of the anticipated 18 Mbpd of additional oil required to meet the expected worldwide demand growth by 2035.
In order to maintain growth and investment, the Petroleum Minister emphasized the importance of maintaining reforms in emerging economies. She noted that one such reform in Nigeria is the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, currently before Nigeria’s National Assembly, which will change the face of the country’s petroleum operations and ensure they remain in line with international standards and best practices.
She noted that reform in the energy sector will support the longer-term economic priorities of Africa’s largest economy, with significant investment planned in infrastructure, power generation, industry and agriculture, as well as in health and education services. The approach is similar to what obtains in other OPEC member countries, which are actively pursuing economic diversification strategies. In turn, the EU is playing a vital role in supporting the development of renewable energy technology to support the long-term diversification of primary energy sources.