Nigeria’s gas reserve life index stands at 79 years as of January 1, 2015, according to the latest data from the Department of Petroleum resources.
Out of this figure, some volumes are said to stranded or not developed.
The country is also said to have 188 trillion cubic feet in gas reserves as of January 1 this year.
The Deputy Director, Gas Monitoring and Regulation, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Antigha Ekaluo, disclosed this in a presentation at the 16th Annual General Meeting/Natural Gas Business Forum 2015 of the Nigerian Gas Association held in Lagos on Wednesday.
The presentation was entitled: ‘Harnessing and monetising the potential of stranded gas fields: A key enabler for economic and national growth’.
The reserve life index measures the length of time it will take to deplete a resource. The RLI is often used to measure how long a well or mine will last such as for oil, natural gas or minerals. Typically, the higher the RLI, the higher the quality of the asset.
For example, an oil well with a RLI of 15 years will be a more productive asset in the long term than an oil well with a RLI of five years, assuming the production levels are the same.
Ekaluo said Nigeria’s gas reserves endowment might be up to 600TCF, quoting the United States Geological Survey, adding that the country ranked seventh in the world and first in Africa in gas reserves base.
According to him, natural gas potential exists in inland basins like the Benue Trough, Borno and Anambra basins, but with the natural gas accumulation mainly concentrated in the Niger Delta Basin.
He said substantial discoveries had been made in the deep offshore area, stressing that all natural gas discoveries were incidental to exploration for crude oil.
The DPR official described stranded natural gas as that, which was available but not developed due to economic and physical constraints, adding that stranded gas could also be gas reserves in remote fields, which would be uneconomic for monetisation.
“They could also be associated gas reserves without gas gathering systems,” Ekaluo explained.
According to him, capital and operating expenditures are stifling the growth of gas infrastructure, as well as immature/sub-commercial domestic market, disincentive fiscal terms (high risk, low return) and absence of robust legislative and commercial framework for gas.
Nigeria, he noted, was endowed with abundant gas resources and the sector holds huge potential for unprecedented growth.
The existing legal and regulatory framework, written primarily for oil, does not provide robust technical and commercial framework for gas, he argued, adding, “There is, therefore, the need to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill into law, which will underpin the ongoing sector reforms.
“The gas sector policies will provide Nigeria with the opportunity to harness and get maximum value from its stranded gas resources, as effective gas sector development remained a catalyst for growth and will have a multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy.”
On the strategy for monetising stranded gas, the Council Chairman, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Ene, said there was the need for the country to identify and secure its closest markets, develop an integrated flare-out model, recognise that associated gas was not non-associated gas, determine the size the process based on average throughput, and modularise the solution.
For accelerated stranded gas monetisation, he called for the fast-tracking of captive power, adoption of gas-powered public transportation, Liquefied Petroleum Gas substitution programme, and the implementation of pipeline network code.