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Gas Exporters Meet in Cairo

The 24th Ministerial Meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum GECF is being held on the 25th of October 2022, in Cairo, the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Tarek El Molla, the host country’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, will chair the Meeting in his capacity as President of the GECF Ministerial Meeting for 2022.

The Ministerial Meeting is the supreme governing body of the Forum and meets once a year in accordance with the GECF Statute.

The GECF was established in 2001. In 2008, it was transformed into an international governmental organisation headquartered in Doha, the State of Qatar.

“Energy security and affordability have moved to the top of the priority list of policymakers, with sustainability taking a backseat”

The GECF comprises of 19 member countries, with Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela as Members, and Angola, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Malaysia, Mozambique, Norway, Peru, and the UAE as Observers.

Together, they represent 72% of the global proven natural gas reserves, 43% of marketed production, 55% of exports by pipeline, and 50% of LNG exports.

Mr. El Molla has promised, as host and chair, “to provide a constructive dialogue that will contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the Forum and all its member countries while focusing on the future role of natural gas in the energy transition process as a reliable and affordable source of energy.

“Energy security and affordability have moved to the top of the priority list of policymakers, with sustainability taking a backseat”, observes Mohamed Hamel, Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum. “Another energy crisis, that faced daily by three billion people lacking access to modern energy services, continues unabated and has even worsened. Furthermore, the IPCC Sixth Assessment Working Groups’ reports have once again underlined the urgency of mitigation and adaptation to climate change”.

Mr. Hamel, who is Algerian, notes that Natural gas markets are going through a rapid and substantial restructuring in terms of physical flows, investment, and contractual arrangements. From being the market of last resort, Europe has become the preferred destination for LNG cargoes. In the event, “some developing countries are no longer able to satisfy their gas import needs, a situation that creates economic havoc, lowers the standard of living of their people, and gives rise to political and social instability.

“Against this backdrop, the 24th GECF Ministerial Meeting is a great opportunity to exchange views, and explore ways and means to strengthen the Forum and expand its membership. It is also an opportunity to reemphasise the crucial role of natural gas in sustainable development, and as an enabler of the energy transition – a transition that is smooth, cost-effective, just, and leaves no one behind”, the secretary general declares.

“It is all the more a great opportunity that the 24th GECF Ministerial Meeting is held in Cairo, the Arab Republic of Egypt, a very important country for natural gas markets, with a thriving, dynamic and innovative industry.  It is also a wonderful coincidence that Egypt is set to host COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh in 2022”.

Activists Finally Move Against TOTAL’s Brulpadda Gas Project

Netherlands based The Bloom association for the protection of the oceans and the South African non-governmental organization (NGO), The Green Connection, have launched an international petition against the development of a major gas project by TOTALEnergies off South Africa.

The target is the Brulpadda-Liuperd project, which is primarily intended to supply 200Million standard cubic feet per day (200MMscf/d) to a Gas to Liquids (GTL) Plant operated by the state hydrocarbon firm PetroSA, in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape.

The gas and condensate reserves are located in 1,800 metres of water in Block 11B/12B in the deepwater Outeniqua Basin, 175km offshore off the coast of the Western Cape. It is just the right place and context for South Africa’s passionate, well-funded, activism against fossil fuels.

“They know that these are complicated waters with a risk of oil spills,” warns Swann Bommier, The Bloom’s Advocacy and Campaigns Officer. “It’s a spectacular place from a biodiversity point of view, which is on the migration route of whales and sperm whales. It is also a living environment for dolphins, leatherback turtles and seals”, observes Claire Nouvian, president of The Bloom.

TOTALEnergies has been luckier than most operators in South African offshore. It had felt so surreal to observers that the French major had managed to drill to two wells, almost back-to-back, in deepwater South Africa, in contrast to the successful legal challenges against other offshore Energy projects in the country.

The move by The Bloom and The Green Connection comes at a time when TOTAL, is preparing to drill appraisals of the Brulpadda and the Liuperd accumulations, which were discovered in 2019 and 2020.

TOTAL’s application for production licence for Block 11B/12B, submitted in early September 2022, includes a development plan for supply of as much as 700MMscf/d of piped gas to customers located as far as Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. If approved, it will represent some substantial flow of natural gas into the South African economy, almost doubling the supply of Mozambican gas by Sasol to some South African industrial entities.

But The Bloom and The Green Connection argue that South African authorities should only decide on the Brulpadda/Liuperd production license at the end of a public inquiry scheduled for January 20, 2023.

TOTAL has always insisted that its gas project will help displace the heavy use of coal in the South African economy. But the protesters dismiss this claim out of hand.  “Gas is not a transitional energy, we must stop the greenwashing,” they say.


Nigeria’s Gas Export Put on Hold

Nigeria’s 3.5Billion cubic feet per day (capacity) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export, has been halted for now.

Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd called up a force majeure as a result of the widespread flooding that has disrupted production of gas in the Niger Delta region.

The companies that supply natural gas to NLNG Ltd had declared force majeure, forcing it to make the declaration as well, according to Andy Odeh, the company’s General Manager External Relations.

A force majeure clause in a contract releases a party from fulfilling their contractual obligations when circumstances beyond their control impede them.

The year has been fraught with challenges from the supply side for NLNG Ltd, whose operations make Nigeria the sixth largest LNG exporter in the world.

The company had recently lamented a declining feedstock due to rising crude oil theft which crimp output of gas that is produced in the process of oil extraction. For this reason, LNG exports from Nigeria had slumped by close to 40% year-on-year, as of September 2022.

But the flooding, which has affected over 20 states in the country, is the high mark.“The notice by the gas suppliers was a result of high floodwater levels in their operational areas, leading to a shut-in of gas production, which has caused significant disruption of gas supply to NLNG,” Mr Odeh said.



Mozambique May Be Lucky with Gas Export from its Deepwater Terrain

Twelve and half years after discovery, some of the gas from Mozambique’s deepwater Rovuma basin may finally make it to the market by November 2022.

Max Tonela, the country’s minister of economy and finance, says he expects the first tanker of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be exported from the Rovuma basin, off Cabo Delgado province, by the end of October 2022.

“We hope that before the end of this month of October the first export of liquefied natural gas produced by the country will take place,” the minister said in an interview with the Portuguese news agency, Lusa.

President Fillipe Nyusi’s government expects about $35Million to be earned from Coral South FLNG Export in 2022.

The sums were calculated based on a four-month cargo export for 2022. Now the window has been reduced to two months.

It has taken five years to get here, since Final Investment Decision (FID) on the 3.4Million Metric Tonne (MMTPA) project was taken in 2017. And it would be the first earnings from production of the deepwater gas reserves that were initially discovered in February 2010.

Mozambique has been earning income from produced natural gas since 2004, when Sasol started pumping gas from onshore Pande and Temane fields to South Africa.

But the deepwater finds from two acreages, totaling at least 100Trillion cubic feet of recoverable reserves, promise much more.

The plans were:

  • Coral South FLNG (3.4MMTPA) FID June 2017, First Gas June 2022
  • Onshore Mozambique LNG (12.9MMTPA) FID taken on June 8, 2019, expected to be Fully Commissioned 2024
  • Rovuma LNG (15.2 MMTPA), FID targeted 3Q 2019, Fully Commissioned 2025
  • Unitised Trains (15.2 MMTPA) FID targeted 2024, Fully Commissioned 2029
  • Prosperidade LNG (12.9 or 15.2 MMTPA) FID targeted 2024, Fully Commissioned 2029
  • Domgas Projects Expected – Gas to Liquids (’GTL), Fertiliser, Independent Power Projects (IPPs), Small-Scale LNG (SSLNG), LNG Bunkering, Methanol to Olefins (MTO)


N-Gas, Transporter of the West African Gas, in Profit Slump

NNPC subsidiary N-Gas, reported a 12% dip in profit to $8.476Million in 2021 from $9.532Million in 2020.

This was a large reversal of the leap in profit from $6.217Million in 2019 to $9.532Million in 2020.

Net cash generated from operations fell from $19Million in 2020 to $6.4Million in 2021.

N-Gas is jointly owned with NNPC by Chevron and Shell and its work is to purchase and deliver Nigerian gas to customers in Benin Republic (Communaute Electrique du Benin (CEB) – Cotonou); Togo (Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo (CEET) Lome) and Ghana (Volta River Authority (VRA) -Takoradi), under their respective gas sales agreements through the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP).

This means that it pays upstream suppliers like NDWestern and NPDC for taking their gas and pays the pipeline owners for ferrying the gas through the line.

N-Gas reported a 13% drop in revenue on gas delivery charges on sale of gas to VRA, CEB Cotonou and CEET Lome, from $6.5Million in 2020 to $5.6Million in 2021.

Analysis of the revenue from the delivery charges on sale of gas to these entities over the last three years is as follows

                                                                                                            2021           2020                      2019

                                                                                                            US$’000      US$’000                     US$’000

VRA                                                                                                         3,742             4,639                    4,686

CEB Cotonou                                                                                        1,179             1,222                    492

CEB Lome                                                                                                  644            608                       631

                                                                                                             5,565            6,469                    5,809


N-Gas Limited was incorporated in 2004 as a private limited liability Company. The Company is jointly owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (62.35%), Chevron N-Gas Limited (20.00%) and Shell Overseas Holdings Limited (17.65%). The Company’s main activity is to buy and sell natural gas shipped through the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS – NGC) and the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) to its customers in the countries of Ghana, Togo and Benin.

N-Gas has executed agreements with upstream producers in Nigeria (Chevron Nigeria Limited Joint Venture (CNL-JV) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company/ND Western Joint Venture (NPDC/NDW-JV)) and with gas transportation companies (Nigerian Gas Company Limited (NGC) and West African Petroleum Company (WAPCo) ) for the supply and transportation of gas to its customers. The agreement with NPDC/NDW-JV was previously with Shell, ie SPDC-JV but subsequently novated to NPDC/NDW-JV following the divestment of Shell Petroleum Development Company Joint Venture (SPDC-JV) from the asset that is the source of its upstream gas supplies to N-Gas. The Novation agreement which transferred the rights and obligations of the NNPC/SPDC JV parties to NPDC/NDW JV parties in the NNPC/SPDC GPAs, was finally concluded in December 2014 following the execution of the novated Trust Accounts and Security Deeds (TASDs).




ENI Gets two Algerian Gas Fields to the Market, for Europe

Italian major ENI has taken onstream, two gas fields in Algeria that will supply the European market.

It has been a fast-track development.

The assets are “related to the Berkine South contract”, which was signed (with the state hydrocarbon company Sonatrach), in April 2022.

The entire Berkine South acreage itself currently has a production capacity of 35Million standard cubic feet per day of gas (MMscf/d), and approximately 4,000 barrels per day of associated liquids.

With new fields coming on stream and ramped up in the following months, ENI expects the Berkine South gas output to be tripled to 70MMscf/d by the end of 2022.

These molecules are meant for export into Europe.

“The production of the Berkine South, which is the first contract to be signed under the new Algerian hydrocarbon law 19-13, is operated by ENI and Sonatrach”, ENI explains in a statement.

ENI has seen itself, since the Russian/Ukraine conflict started, as the champion of alternative sources of natural gas for Europe. Most of its developments for this purpose, in Africa, are relatively small, but they add up.

ENI has also taken more assets where other European companies are unwilling. In September 2022, the company announced that it had reached an agreement on the acquisition of BP’s operations in Algeria, including “In Amenas” and “In Salah”, “the most important gas production fields operated by international companies in the country”, ENI claims. “Following this operation and the development programmes in the Berkine basin, ENI’s production in Algeria is expected to reach over 120,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2023”.




What is the Economic Justification for the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline?

By Dan D. Kunle

The Nigerian state hydrocarbon company, NNPC Ltd has announced, with flourish, the plan to take final investment decision (FID) on the proposed Nigeria to Morocco to Europe Pipeline by 2023.

But is this the important project that NNPC and the Nigerian Government are making it out to be?

Mele Kyari, the NNPC’s chief executive, reportedly restated the price tag: $25Billion to Bloomberg. He was also more forthcoming about the length: 5,600Kilometres.

The line is proposed to originate from Lagos and run parallel the West African Gas Pipeline currently linking Nigeria and Ghana, a project which has struggled with certainty of gas delivery and has underperformed its contractual obligations for the 10+years it has been in operation.

The facility, for which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Morocco was signed in late September 2022, now looms larger in our consciousness than any other hydrocarbon evacuation project in play, in the context of Europe’s desire for natural gas to replace Russian supply.

“I am not unaware of the phosphate fertilizer production and supplies from Morocco to Nigeria. But this monoproduct is not sufficient to justify a gas pipeline, as compared with LNG plants and regasification facilities…”

Last March, the OPEC Fund agreed to a $14Million contribution to a $90Million loan for the Front-End Engineering Study (FEED) of a part of the Project.

The line will ultimately pump Nigerian gas through the Maghreb-Europe pipeline to the European gas network. Along the route it is expected to supply gas to the land-locked countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. In will pass through Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania.

Among the questions that keep coming up, are: How sudden has the economic and technical justification been validated for this type of project from Nigeria to Morocco?

At what cost is this project and where is the funding likely to come from?

Who scoped this project?

Have all the maritime permits and approvals, country by country, been obtained?

Who are the offtakers, where are their Gas Sale and Purchase Agreements (GSPAs)? Who are the producers? What are the upstream details? Where is the investment plan by NNPC for the production of the gas that will be dedicated to this ambitious pipeline?

Who, when and where will the gas be produced to feed into this type of an ambitious dream?

How many years will it take Nigeria and Morocco to implement and complete this ambitious project?

It may be pertinent to ask the Nigerian government and NNPC Ltd, what has happened to the Obrikom-Obiafu to Oben (OBOBOB ) project, which construction has lasted 16 years; what is the status of that project now?. What is going on with this very important project from the East Niger Delta to the West of the country?

Why would Morocco not consider building a REGASIFICATION facility in her country and also possibly acquire LNG carrier vessels to move around the ocean waters of the world?  Is this not more cost effective than embarking on an extensive undersea gas pipeline?

Morocco does not need this pipeline all the way from Nigeria, unless there is something we don’t know. Could it be political and territorial ambition? But for what purpose?

Morocco can purchase LNG from Senegal and/or Mauritania; countries that are close to her, either by LNG carrier vessels, which are more flexible or by gas pipeline, because of the short distance.

Does the MoU between Nigeria and Morocco imply that the Federal Government and NNPC abandoned the AKK pipeline to Niger and Algeria enroute to Europe, in favour of this undersea line to Europe through Morocco?

Why will the Nigerian government want to waste time and money in this critical period when we have no adequate domestic gas delivery framework?

Does this Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline replace the other LNG plans; Brass LNG and OK LNG?

Twenty Million Ton capacity LNG plants will cost about $21Billion today and Nigeria with her gas resources can actualise these projects in five years, if we are determined to join the LNG suppliers race in the world.

The USA started LNG production and supply only in the last ten years and they are gunning for Number 1 position against Qatar and Australia. It will be very uneconomical for Nigeria to abandon LNG projects  for a white elephant, undersea gas pipeline from Lagos to Morocco.

There are so many numerous advantages for Nigeria to develop her LNG projects because of the value additions in maritime and shipping business. The cost of maintaining the gas pipeline underwater is enormous.

The global race for LNG production and supplies is heating up because of (1) the Russian/ Ukraine conflict and (2) gas is a transitional fuel. If the supply from Russia had not been through pipeline, but by LNG vessels, the situation would not have been this precarious.

Having rationalized and reviewed this ambitious gas pipeline between Nigeria and Morocco, I am not unaware of the phosphate fertilizer production and supplies from Morocco to Nigeria. But this monoproduct is not sufficient to justify a gas pipeline, as compared with LNG plants and regasification facilities as the case may apply to each country. At any rate, Togo has huge phosphate deposits and it is close to Nigeria, so why can’t Nigeria simply develop the deposits next door?

From records, ECOWAS economic treaty and Nigeria’s development plans had recommended a railway system in the region that will, among others, transport phosphate deposits from Togo to the Federal Superphosphate fertilizer complex in Kaduna.

Have NNPC and the Federal Government abandoned the Trans Sahara Gas project that was going to go from Nigeria through Niger Republic (also expected to pump its own gas) to Algeria and Europe?

Dan Kunle is a business and privatization consultant.

LPG: Lagos State Obstructs Ease of Business

The Selai Gas Company is a downstream Nigerian gas entity which launched in April 2022 as an LPG retail company with a community empowerment focus. It is also a vehicle for manufacturing LPG cylinders as well as (ultimately) delivering gas for power. It was inspired by the national authorities’ proclamation of a decade of gas, but as it turns out, most of its two-year journey from drawing board to first retail station has been characterized bby obstacles with sub national regulatory agencies.

Africa Oil+Gas Report’s Akpelu Paul Kelechi spoke with Selai Gas CEO DAMILOLA OWOLABI on the issues, zeroing in on the company’s engagement with regulatory authorities all the way from inception of the idea to delivery of the station. She also speaks about how the processes could be improved.

You chose this particular place was because you have a history here and to bring the gas closer to the people. Are there any other reasons?

We want to be able to create a platform where we give you cylinders at an affordable rate and you spread the payment over a period of time. So, again as an earlier mentioned, Yes, we are in business to make money but also, we want to create an impact within the neighborhood.

What about the logistics in setting this place up?

There were a number of logistic challenges. We had to deal with the “area boys,” (street toughs), we had to deal with the Landlord Association, you know, it was a lot of work and convincing sessions that we had to have with them. One thing the (widespread youth protest) End SARS did for my business thinking was a mind shift. It made me see that everyone in any community where you where your business is situated in is a stakeholder, right? You’re not just coming in because you want to make money off that community; you need to bring them into your business as well. So, End SARS (the widespread youth protest) happened here and this neighborhood was a mess during End SARS. While it was happening, the head of the area boys was in touch and he was giving me updates of what was going on. By the time I came, this entire place was like the war zone because you could literally see corpses on the street. It was very tragic. But one thing I noticed was that there were two stores that were not inflicted by the End SARS and all.

 One of the shops belongs to a friend of mine who owns a grocery store down the road. And another one was the NNPC stand right opposite here. So, for him, why didn’t they touch it? When I asked the area boys why they secluded his own store from the attacks, they said, “Alhaji has been very good to us Alhaji is a man of the people, he carries us along and all that. Again, it comes back to making seeing them as some kind of stake holder in your business. For the NNPC, I think why that happened was that they got an information that product was on board as such they couldn’t throw in fire. Then, when they also tried to vandalize the place, someone came and told them that his family member works here, so they should please stay away and all.

Those two experiences helped me to build more like a strategy on how to relate with the community.

 Are there any specific regulatory hurdles that you had to scale to achieve this?

A lot, in fact they are countless. We didn’t have issues with the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority NMDPRA (formerly Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR), because they were very professional, they knew what they wanted and we kept to it. But with the Lagos State government, my goodness! It was like a lot of agencies where just duplicating their responsibilities. I have no business with Lagos State Ministry of Energy when NMDPRA (formerly DPR) was already in the picture. The latter already told us what we needed to do and we were already in line with that so why go to the Lagos State Ministry of Energy? After NMDPRA (formerly DPR) had given us their approved Environmental Impact Assessment EIA, we still had to go to the Lagos Ministry of Environment to do another EIA. We also had to go to the Lagos State Town Planning and that was the toughest because there were lots of issues, we had to deal with them. The process is way so cumbersome; it took us roughly about it eight months to get out of there.

Imagine that your investment is tied down for eight months; your bottom line would feel it. We had to wait eight months to be get approval from Lagos State Town Planning and there were lots of hurdles, there were lots of back and forth, there were so many things that were not needed. I’m very knowledgeable about the industry so I knew at a certain time what we needed to get in place, our safety measures was top notch and our documentation processes were high quality, but these guys always just have a way of frustrating your effort. It takes a special Grace and special knowledge and strength to be able to run a business in Nigeria, particularly Lagos. I don’t know the ease of business that is being said in Lagos because there is no ease of business; it is really tough.

How do you rate the various government agencies in making this place reality?

I would score the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority NMDPRA (formerly DPR) eight (8) out of 10 because they did very well in helping with the processes. They know what they are doing and they were very professional about it. But for the state government, they just had everybody in that space and they really didn’t even have a clue of what needs to be done. For the state government agencies. I will give them two (2) out of 10 because their processes were really stressful. We had to deal with Lagos State Government for about eight months while we worked with NMDPRA (formerly DPR) for barely two months.

If not for the Lagos State government, this plant would have been open since November 2021.

From our calculations and from what we had in the plan, it was supposed to be opened by November of 2021, but the Lagos Government didn’t make that happen. Once you get this document, another agency asks for another document; once you don’t get that another one comes and you are like, it is the same thing that I got from this other agency and they would tell you, well, you have to also get this from us because you are planted in Lagos; in a case of explosion for instance, NMDPRA (formerly DPR) is at the federal level, they won’t be the ones to come to your rescue, it is we the state government. So you need to cover all those agencies.

Some would argue that those checks that the Lagos State government had to make you go through are to ensure that you are doing the right thing.

I think there were just too many duplicated efforts; aside town planning, which is very important, I honestly think we had no business with the Lagos Safety Commission because NMDPRA (formerly DPR) already gave us a suitability approval; they came here, they saw the place and they agreed it is suitable. We also invited the town planners and they came here as well for suitability and they confirmed it, okay. If NMDPRA (formerly DPR has given the suitability report to be okay, why are we dealing with the Lagos State safety commission again? Why we dealing with Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency? We’re dealing with safety commission, LASEPA; we have to deal with Ministry of energy when DPR had already covered that and each of these agencies were asking for their own different EIAs on the same plot of land. How do you explain that? So, each agency wants you to give them a separate EIA. When I tell them, I have an EIA already that has been done, they say no, they have to get their own registered consultants to come and do the EIA. These multiple duplications cost us so much.

“Even though the Lagos State government had given us approval, we also needed the approval from the local government because they were not going to let us see the day right? So, a lot of unbudgeted expenses were there and we didn’t even see it coming”.

But the government at all levels has touted the mantra about ease of doing business …

Ease of doing business doesn’t exist in Nigeria. Particularly in Lagos. I don’t know of other places but particularly in Lagos State, the ease of doing business mantra is not working here.

You have enumerated some of the challenges that you had to face but what solutions would you proffer if you were in government?

I would say, if you want to setup a gas plant in Lagos, once you have the approval from the NMDPRA (formerly DPR), and you have the approval from town planning, the urban and regional planning, you’re fine. Let’s even say the they want their own Ministry of Energy to have a part in all this since DPR is at the federal government level, so the Ministry of Energy can come in at state level. Once these two state agencies give you the go ahead, they can share that information with other agencies. I don’t have to go to LASEPA, I don’t go to the Safety Commission, I don’t have to go to Lagos State Building Control Agency LABCA for instance. I don’t have to go to all those places, right? Once Town Planning gives you a go ahead and the Ministry of energy okays it, come on, they should share that information on the state level. So, all you need to do is, once they come to you and ask, do you have this from minister of energy, do you have this from the ministry of physical planning? Yes, and you are fine. But we had to merry-go-round six-to-seven agencies, spending money and wasting time and they had to give us different documents for the same project, it didn’t just make sense.

The government has declared this decade, the next 10 years as the decade of gas and the business you are into really fits into that profile. I mean, you are supplying LPG and you help reduce the amount of CO2 that is emitted in this community; but has the federal government in any way kind of incentivized you?

You mean financial support from the government, not at all. Everything has been equity and bank loan.

How would you get your supply?

Currently because we do not own our trucks yet, we’re not able to buy directly from NLNG. What I mean by that is, where NLNG discharges their vessels at whatever terminal in Lagos, you can buy at a cheaper rate from them. That is, cheaper than what’s the major marketers are selling. We have not been able to do that because we don’t own trucks. So, at the moment what we’re doing is third party trucks where we have to get trucks from truck owners and we load products from the major marketers. Yeah, and that really is a lot of Cost.

Also, the short term goal of Selai is actually to own our own trucks where we can lift our products from the NLNG at a more competitive rate compared to what the major marketers are doing and where we can also use those trucks to supply other gas plants because by the time you own your truck you’re able to control the number of products that come to you, you’re able to get as much as you want as against relying on someone else to supply you. And it’s another means of income for the business as well. And that also helps us to supply other plants within the neighborhood.

The major marketers can you expand on that?

The major Marketers are basically the guys are import; so, the Rain Oils of this world, the NIPCOs, 11 PLC and the rest. Yeah, we have to buy from them because we don’t own our truck yet to be able to get directly from NLNG.

What are the facilities you have right now that could bolster your business?

We have a 30 Tonne tank and we have our delivery arm as well that was what I mentioned earlier when I talked about “Uberizing” the place. We also have able and experienced staff and our customer service is top-notch.  We’ve been doing quite a number of training actually in the last six weeks for our staff because we want to open well, we don’t want to open and we don’t want to open to the public and we’re having to deal with a lot of issues. So what we’ve been doing is training on safety and customer service just to help every staff of Selai Gas perform optimally when our gates are opened to customers. I also want to mention that we have the part for accessories, what we call Selai Accessories. We sell cylinders and cylinder accessories and you could also call for a technician to come check on your burners, or check on your cylinder back at home and technician will be sent to you. One of the midterm goals for Selai is to own our cylinders because we cannot thrive in this cylinder program without owning our own cylinders. So, at the moment, we’re in partnership with a company here and we buy cylinders from them but eventually, our goal is to own our cylinders.

When you say own, do you mean you want to produce your own cylinders?

Yes, we want to produce our own cylinders.

How soon would this happen?

It’s still in the works but right now, we have secured a place on Lagos-Ibadan Express Way because we don’t want to import cylinders. I see from the market survey that there are too many regulatory issues that you’re going to be dealing with if you are importing cylinders and this is too expensive. So what we want to do with the help of the government, the NCDMB, Bank of Industry, you know, so we’re hoping that in the nearest future, we’re able to make use of that land on Lagos-Ibadan Express Way to build a cylinder production plant.

I don’t want to bring in cylinders from China because I know that I have the capacity to do it in house. So we’re appealing to the agencies of the government that are involved in helping medium scale businesses to thrive to please reach out to us and we’re happy to reach out to you as well. But there’s a lot of bureaucratic processes in getting this done. We want to be able to share our business ideas before them, share our goals before them and let them know that we’re not in this business for ourselves. We’re more in this business for the impacts on the community.

If you want to put a number to it, to set up an LPG filling station like you have done, what is the figure like?

At the time our business was a paper, a business plan, all we have projected was maybe about a hundred million naira for the kind of picture we had in mind for a standard gas plant. But at the time of implementation, well inflation caught up with us and exchange rates was something else and we had to do with all of that. So, if you have in mind to build a standard gas plant in Nigeria, particularly Lagos, I would say you should plan within 150 to 200Nillion Naira because the price change is alarming.  You sleep today at a particular price and the next morning you are calling the vendor to say okay, send your account number let me pay the money and he tells you madam, forget that invoice, I’m sending you something else because things have changed. What can we do? The truth is, there are quite a number of unforeseen expenses that you’re going to incur. in our business plan, we didn’t foresee that we’re going to spend so much with regulatory agencies particularly Lagos State. We didn’t see that coming. We also didn’t know that we were going to even pay so much to the local government. That’s another thing I forgot to mention. Even though the Lagos State government had given us approval, we also needed the approval from the local government because they were not going to let us see the day right? So, a lot of unbudgeted expenses were there and we didn’t even see it coming, but we have to just move along because we have come that far and we couldn’t just go back.







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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