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Nigerian Gas Investment-Seven Thematic Areas

By Ed Ubong

Nigeria declared A Decade of Gas on March 29, 2021. We like to think of that declaration in the following areas.

Gas For Power-The most important area is that gas must provide power and electricity for Nigeria. The Gas for homes-we are keen to seeing that Nigeria’s gas is used for cooking.

Gas for industries-The third thematic area is that gas must drive Nigeria’s industrialization.

Gas for Exports– This is very important from a foreign exchange perspective. Nigeria must play in the regional and international markets with respect to gas.

These four areas that are the end products of gas, require three sets of enablers.

The first one, we call it Infrastructure for gas. We must build the required pipelines that would ensure that gas can be utilized in country. We must also support virtual operators that can move gas without pipelines to where it is needed while we are building those pipelines.

The second enabler is Regulatory framework, pricing, and security, having to do with the infrastructure and the business climate that supports gas investment. All these must be in place for investors to be able to support us as we move on to the decade of gas initiative.

The third enabler is the human capacity- we must build for the gas sector; train . new professionals and retool all professionals who are able to do the switch from oil to gas as we sort of continue the transition.

So, what has happened since Nigeria declared a decade of gas on March 29, 2021?

About gas to power, there have been significant.

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62nd Anniversary/ Decade of Gas: What Took So Long?

Nigeria has come a long way trying to monetise its vast gas reserves, which have quintupled from 38Trillion cubic feet in 1980 to 200Trillion cubic feet by 2021.

In the last 20 years the country’s policy makers have announced headline grabbing “plans” around gas utilization.

After the stalled Gas Master Plan (2008), the frustrated Gas Revolution (2012) and several other proposals, the continent’s largest warehouse of natural gas has declared The Decade of Gas (2021 to 2030).

In the 18 months since the declaration of the “decade”, however, there has been no published, detailed plan of action/activity indicating what boxes the government is ticking and how enterprises are to key into the vision to make Nigeria an attractive gas-based industrial economy, giving primary attention to meeting local gas demand requirements, and developing a significant presence in international markets.

There are promising signals in the new legislation, the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA). We summarize some of them here, but we argue that legislation is one thing and its different from a Plan which helps to hand hold investors and enable projects.

The PIA creates a Midstream & Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund to enable government make equity investments in infrastructure to increase domestic consumption of natural gas and encourage private investment , reduce/ eliminate gas flare; the new law also updates the previous Domestic Supply Obligations to ensure the gas gets from producers to point of use. The PIA adopts the framework of the pre-existing network code to enhance domestic gas distribution and establishes a fiscal framework for gas hitherto unsettled.

But there are a lot of areas still hanging and it takes an actionable plan to deliver on the intents of the legislation.

It is the failure of excitement to take plans to delivery stages that is responsible for the lack lustre performance of the Nigerian gas market, compared with Algeria and Egypt, its peers.

And yet Nigeria has been constructing gas utilisation infrastructure for over 35 years.

The One -Billion cubic feet a day (1Bscf/d) – Escravos–Lagos Pipeline System ELPS, commissioned in 1989, was primarily intended to …

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Petrofac Wins $300Million Contract for Gas Processing Facility in Algeria

Petrofac, leading a consortium with Genie Civil et Batiment (GCB), has signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract with (Algerian state hydrocarbon company) Sonatrach for the Tinrhert EPC2 Development Project. The contract, signed at an official ceremony in Algiers, is valued at approximately $300Million, with Petrofac’s share around US$200 million.

Located in Alrar, around 1,500 kilometres southeast of Algiers, the project will provide a new Central Processing Facility (CPF) with inlet separation and decarbonisation units. The scope of work also includes tie ins to the existing Alrar Separation and Boosting Facilities, along with commissioning, start-up and performance testing. When completed, the development will boost natural gas production and remove CO2 from the field’s gas reserves, within specifications for the global market, enabling further economic growth in Algeria.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Petrofac and Sonatrach’s Algerian Petroleum Institute (IAP) was also signed at the ceremony. The collaboration is designed to build local capability in support of Algeria’s nationalisation objectives.

The IAP was created in 1965, with the objective of providing qualified personnel for the development of Algeria’s energy industry. The Petrofac/IAP partnership will modernise training schools, construct new facilities, and provide training and competence management solutions for local engineers. In addition, Operations and Maintenance training programmes will be implemented for both local and regional markets. The MOU also encompasses the development and roll out of e-learning resources.

Mozambique Commences Deepwater Gas Production in September 2022

Mozambique will start monetizing the natural gas accumulations in the deepwater Rovuma basin, in the Indian Ocean, from September 2022.

That is the date the first cargo of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) will be exported from the 3.4Million Tonne Per Annum (3.4MMTPA) Floating LNG on the Coral South field in the basin’s Area 4 concession.

The gas is contracted to bp for 20 years with an option for a 10-year extension; it could help in Europe’s gas supply crisis.

September 2022 will be roughly 12 years and seven months since Anadarko-the now defunct American independent- discovered the giant accumulations of natural gas in Area 1 in deepwater Rovuma basin. It will be about 11 years after ENI discovered similar resources in Area 4, adjacent to Area 1.

For the otherwise aggressive operator ENI, Coral South FLNG is one of its longest discovery- to- market hydrocarbon projects, at least in Africa.

Thus, for the otherwise aggressive operator ENI, Coral South FLNG is one of its longest discovery- to- market hydrocarbon projects, at least in Africa.

ENI, in 2015, discovered the giant Zohr in deepwater Mediterranean, offshore Egypt. By 2017, the field was in production, supplying mostly Egyptian power plants.

Area 4 is operated by Mozambique Rovuma Venture (MRV), a joint venture led by ENI and consisting of ExxonMobil and CNPC (China), which holds a 70% participating interest in the concession contract. Galp, KOGAS (South Korea) and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (Mozambique) each hold 10% stakes.

The Coral South FLNG platform has storage tanks on the hull and 13 modules on top, including a liquefaction plant, an eight-story module that can accommodate 350 people and a helicopter runway.



ENI will Start Small with Tango FLNG, Then Add a Bigger Floater

The Tango Floating LNG vessel that ENI has acquired with its purchase of Export LNG Ltd can only process 0.6Million tons per year, or a fifth of the 3Million Tons Per Annum (3MMTPA) the Italian giant expects to produce, at peak, from Congo’s Marine XII project, where the facility will be deployed.

ENI is now scouting around for larger vessels, while the Tango FLNG commences activity in the second half of 2023, following the completion of mooring and connection works necessary to tie with the Marine XII network and infrastructure.

ENI is keen on tallying up gas projects all over as many of its African fields as possible, to ensure that Italian gas market is adequately served in the wake of the reduction of Russian gas supply to Europe.

“We are increasing our gas production and will send to Italy and southern Europe all the gas we have found,” ENI’s CEO Claudio Descalzi said in May 2022.

“The acquisition of this facility (Tango FLNG) allows the development of a fast-track model capable of seizing the opportunities of the LNG market”, ENI said in a statement, adding that “the high flexibility and mobility characteristics of the Tango FLNG will favour the development and enhancement of ENI’s equity gas by accelerating production start-up time”.

The Tango FLNG, built in 2017, has a treatment capacity of approximately 3Million standard cubic meters/day and an LNG production capacity of approximately 0.6Million tons per year (about 1 billion standard cubic meters/year), h whereas the Marine XII project, when fully operational it will provide volumes in excess of 3Million tons/year (over 4.5 billion cubic meters/year).

TOTAL’s South African Gas Project Likely to be Assailed by Activists

By Toyin Akinosho

TOTALEnergies expects to sign a head of agreement with Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA) in late August and apply for production licence for its Brulpadda -Liuperd gas project by September 2022, but the likelihood that the project will have a smooth ride to delivery in 2025 is far from certain.

The Brulpadda -Liuperd gas and condensate reserves are located in Block 11B/12B in the deepwater Outeniqua Basin, 175km offshore off the coast of the Western Cape; just the right place and context that the country’s passionate, well-funded, environmental activists will likely choose to hold it up.

The plan is to pump the gas to the 200Million standard cubic feet per day (200MMscf/d) Gas To Liquids Plant operated by state hydrocarbon firm PetroSA at Mossel Bay also in the Western Cape.

TOTALEnergies application for production licence “is almost certainly something which will be subjected to legal opposition from climate justice groups and nongovernmental organisations opposed to the development of the gas reserves”, reports, a South African online newspaper.

“The barrage of legal cases against fossil fuel projects is a significant concern for the Central Energy Fund CEF, the state energy parastatal”, EWN reports, quoting Ayanda Noah CEF’s Chief Executive who is looking forward to working with TOTALEnergies on the project. “There is litigation just from all angles. In fact, I think all our oil and gas projects – there’s litigation on all of them, which is a challenge,” she says

TOTALEnergies estimates around 3.4Trillion cubic feet and 200Million barrels of condensates of recoverable reserves in the two fields.

Ayanda Noah told Fin24 in an exclusive interview. “The plant needs to be upgraded. That work will have to be done, and I believe it will take about 12 to 18 months. The gas is coming in about 2024 to 2025 – so it’s literally around the corner.

But just a week ago, Barbara Creecy, the South African Minister of Forestry Fisheries and the Environment shot down a second appeal by the Turkish Karpowership group for ship-mounted gas-fired power plants at harbours in Richards Bay, Ngqura and Saldanha Bay, saying that the country’s desperate need for power should not come at the expense of the Constitution or the environment, and subsequently human beings.

Ms. Creecy’s decision fits a pattern of anti-hydrocarbon activism in South Africa.

TOTALEnergies has been, indeed, an exception to the rule. Last February the Western Cape high court ruled, in favour of fishing communities on the West Coast, against Searcher Seismic’s proposed multiclient survey, planned to acquire  10,000 sq km of three dimensional (3D) and around 22,014 km of 2D seismic data, over a number of blocks in the west and southwest coasts of South Africa, covering the Outeniqua Basin and its sub-basins, including Bredasdorp, Infanta, Pletmos, Gamtoos, Algoa and Southern Outeniqua Basins.

That ruling came about 40 days after Shell lost its bid to appeal an interdict granted to Wild Coast small-scale fisher communities opposed to its 3D seismic survey. The Australia-based Seismic Searcher decided to discontinue pursuing the case and announced the immediate demobilization of its survey vessel, the BGP Pioneer.

ENI has also had challenges with activists against its plans to explore off the Kwazulu Natal, right in the Indian Ocean.


Genser Secures >$400Million for Gas Pipeline and Processing Projects in Ghana

Genser Energy has achieved financial close for an eight (8)-year $425Million funding package to in part, finance the following:

  • a 100 kilometre natural gas pipeline to Ghana’s second largest city, Kumasi
  • a 200Million standard cubic feet per day (200MMscf/d) gas conditioning plant at Prestea, Ghana
  • and a Natural Gas Liquid (‘NGL’) storage terminal at Takoradi Port as a major step in Genser’s

The funds, which comprise of a syndicated senior loan facility of $325Million and a $100Million mezzanine loan facility, will also be used to refinance existing debt.

Concurrent with the fundraising, Genser signed an offtake agreement with Trafigura for 100% of NGLs, primarily propane, butane and ethane, as well as Liquified Natural Gas (‘LNG’) to be produced from the gas conditioning plant in Prestea. In addition, Trafigura participated in Genser’s mezzanine loan facility and provided additional funding to build increased storage capacity at the proposed Takoradi NGL Terminal.

“The construction of the natural gas pipeline to Kumasi and the gas processing plant in Prestea will have significant economic and environmental benefits not only for Genser but also for Ghana and the West African sub-region”, Genser explains. “The availability of cheaper and readily accessible piped natural gas in Kumasi and the central belt of Ghana via the new pipeline will encourage industries to switch from imported trucked diesel and heavy fuel oil (HFO) to indigenous natural gas as a low-carbon intensive fuel. The pipeline will also support relocation of power plants from coastal regions to reduce line losses and improve efficiency on the national grid. Moreover, the gas conditioning plant will produce cleaner fuels and establish Ghana as a significant producer and exporter of Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)”.

The senior loan facility was financed by a consortium of regional & commercial international banks, development financial institutions, and funds comprised of Standard Bank of South Africa, Absa Bank, Société Générale, Mauritius Commercial Bank, Ninety One, Barak Fund SPC Limited and the Development Bank of Southern Africa. The mezzanine loan facility is provided by Trafigura, Barak Fund SPC Limited and the US Based Fund, Trilinc Global Sustainable Income Fund Master Ltd.

The transaction will support Genser’s diversification from power to the gas midstream sector and mark a significant milestone in its decarbonization strategy to achieve net zero carbon by 2035 whilst contributing significantly to Ghana’s national climate change targets on emission reduction.

Genser Energy was advised in this transaction by Northcott Capital Limited as financial advisers and Clifford Chance LLP as legal advisers. The Senior Lenders were advised by Trinity International LLP (Legal), Advisian – Worley Group (Technical) and Indecs Consulting Limited (Insurance). Hogan Lovells acted as Legal counsel to the mezzanine Lenders.

Genser’s new lenders include Société Générale, Mauritius Commercial Bank and Ninety One, as well as Trafigura as an investor and strategic partner. Among the company’s old and existing lenders are Standard Bank of South Africa, Absa Bank, Barak Fund SPC Limited and the Development Bank of Southern Africa..


Angola Takes FID on its First Non-Associated Gas Project

The New Gas Consortium in Angola has reached Final Investment Decision for the Quiluma and Maboqueiro gas project, the first non-associated gas project in the country.

The project includes two offshore wellhead platforms, an onshore gas processing plant and a connection to Angola LNG plant for the marketing of condensates and gas via LNG cargoes. Project execution activities will start in 2022 with a first gas planned in 2026 and an expected production of 330Million standard cubic feet of gas per day (330MMscf/d) at plateau

The New Gas Consortium (NGC) includes ENI, Chevron, Sonangol P&P (the state hydrocarbon company),  bp and TOTALEnergies, together with Angola’s National Agency for Oil, Gas and Biofuels ANPG (the regulator and concessionaire)

“The sanctioning of the Q&M Project is an important milestone towards unlocking new undeveloped sources of energy, sustaining a reliable supply of gas to the Angola LNG plant”, the partners say in a statement.

The New Gas Consortium partnership encompasses ENIi (25.6%, operator), Chevron (31%), Sonangol P&P (19.8%), bp (11.8%) and TOTALEnergies (11.8%).

Angola had struggled with a clear framework for gas development, for most of its hydrocarbon exploitation history. It wasn’t until the last five years, that the country developed principles to ensure private sector take in natural gas development.

“The establishment of a legal and fiscal regime applicable to the upstream activities and sale of natural gas in Angola was a key enabler for the project”, the NGC partners explain.

The NGC, through the is project, has a relationship with the Angola LNG (ALNG) group stakeholders. Like the NGC, Chevron again holds the highest stake in ALNG, with 36.4%, Sonangol (22.8%), bp (13.6%) and TOTALEnergies (13.6%) and ENI (13.6%), The plant is located in Soyo, Province of Zaire and has a treatment capacity of approximately 353Billion cubic feet a year of feed gas and a liquefaction capacity of 5.2Million metric tonnes a year of LNG.




A $2Billion Fertiiser Plant Planned for Angola, with Funds from Afreximbank

A consortium of Angolan companies plans to invest $2.2Billion in an industrial fertiliser complex expected to be completed in 2026.

Grupo Opaia SA, a large, indigenous Angolan enterprise, is driving the project, with Sonagás, a subsidiary of the state hydrocarbon company Sonangol, as key partner.

The facility, designed to produce granulated urea, is the first unit of its kind built in Angola and southern and central Africa, according to a statement from the promoters.

The project will be funded by a consortium of banks led by Afreximbank, which will disburse the loans over the nearly four years of construction of the complex, due to be concluded in the third quarter of 2026, Grupo Opaia says in a release

The factory is to be sited in Soyo, a city located at the mouth of the Congo River, which also hosts the Angla LNG plant. It will have the capacity to produce 3,500 tonnes of urea a day, supplying the domestic market and plugging the deficit of 1,200,000 tons of fertiliser in the Southern African region, including South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Some of the output will be exported outside the African continent, to countries in Latin America, Grupo Opaia explains.



NNPC, Sahara JV May Construct Jetties across West Africa for LPG Supply

WAGL Energy Limited, a joint venture business operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and Sahara Group, is set to develop and construct jetties across West African countries to boost the supply and penetration of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the sub-region.

Emmanuel Ubani, Managing Director, WAGL Energy Limited said discussions were already at advanced stages for the first in the lot, adding that WAGL had embarked on developing infrastructure to take beneficial advantage in the emerging energy transition era.

While acknowledging growing LPG demand in Africa, Ubani advised elements that make up the enabling environment for LPG utilization include infrastructure -both liquefaction and regasification plants, gas distribution, pipelines and/or gas distribution trucks, cylinder distribution and/or segmented local distribution to individual houses and industries

“All parts of the value chain must be in place and functional, that is, a distribution system to enable feasible access for the users must exist, a ready and vibrant market network and most importantly, acceptable and accommodating uses of the alternative energy source. Ensuring this requires both public and private investments at a level that allows for economies of scale, supporting in making the sector commercially viable. Sufficient attention on policy and strategic level, with clear responsibility allocation and appropriate regulation of the sector, is required.”

Ubani said nations seeking to lead energy transition across the continent would need to massively de-risk and promote more private sector investment, a step he described as very critical.

“Governments need to do a great job at providing an enabling environment for the sector to thrive. They need to take advantage of the abundancy and competitiveness of renewables and also support systemic innovation, especially as it affects the changing energy mix,” Ubani advised.


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