The Nigerian Government has appealed to the partners in the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) project to allow the transportation of third-party gas through its joint pipelines to increase gas supply to the plant.
Sequel to the refusal of the joint partners Shell, Chevron, NNPC and others, to allow third parties to transport gas through their pipelines to the NLNG Trains, the company has been unable to operate at full capacity thus causing its inability to meet both domestic and international gas obligations.
Horatius Egua, Senior Adviser to the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, in a statement on Monday, said the NLNG is at present only able to produce at about 70% installed capacity.
The Minister of State Petroleum Resources Chief Timipre Sylva in an audience with the new Italian Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Sefano De Leo in Anuja on Monday, said if the NLNG partners relax their rules and allow third-party supply gas to the NLNG, the company will be able to provide gas to help ease European Union’s gas crisis.
“The issue we have with the existing NLNG Trains is that of insufficient gas supply. The partners are running out of gas and they are refusing third parties to supply gas to the Trains. The partners are insisting that they can only allow third-party supply gas to the plant only if they agree to supply at subsidized rates. These people, of course, want to make money and they cannot supply at subsidized rates and that’s why the NLNG Trains cannot produce at full capacity.
“The partners can afford to supply at subsidized rates because they are partners in the NLNG project, not third parties. This is a very critical issue I want to discuss with the respective partners to see how we can resolve this problem so that we can increase the production capacity of the NLNG,” Sylva said.
He also stressed the long-standing relations between Nigeria and Italy also sought the cooperation of the Italian government in providing support for night helicopter rescue operations in the country, adding that at the moment helicopters cannot fly at night in Nigeria thus foreclosing any rescue operations at night.
Responding, De Leo stressed the importance of Nigeria in Africa and noted that as the continent’s most populous country it would be difficult for anyone to ignore the country both at the political and economic front.
“At the moment, the EU wants to diversify its energy sources especially gas and Nigeria is very strategic to us. We have been long-standing friends and partners and one of the most important one for that matter. So, we need to continue to dialogue on how things can be done properly. In Africa, no country is more strategic than Nigeria because of its population, economy and political position. So we are happy to work with you,” the Ambassador added.