This is coming as efforts are on to ensure more cars in the country are powered by compressed natural gas to reduce demand for petroleum products for vehicular needs.
At the 2013 ministerial mid-term briefing tagged “moving the oil and gas sector to the next level”, in Abuja Tuesday, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, explained that the ministry had concluded a pilot scheme on the monitoring mechanism.
Her words: “As part of improving accountability with regard to Nigeria’s oil production, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has concluded a pilot scheme for real-time crude oil production monitoring. The programme, which is referred to as National Production Monitoring System (NPMS), is a remote monitoring system emplaced not only to monitor real-time production, primarily, but also other field parameters needed for effective reservoir management and administration.”
And to reduce the pressure on petroleum products for vehicular movement in the absence of a functional rail transport, the minister hinted that government had embarked on steps aimed at ensuring more vehicles use compressed natural gas for fuel purpose.
“Through the NNPC Joint Venture with NIPCO, Compressed Natural Gas for vehicular use has grown with the pilot initiative in Benin City, Edo State. Over 2,000 cars now run on natural gas in Benin and many more get converted daily. There are six gas filling stations in the city and the most dominant users are commercial taxi drivers. The impact on their daily economics has been significant and the expansion in subscription of new conversions has been by word of mouth to fellow taxi drivers. It is intended to now expand this initiative across the country, reducing the cost of transportation while at the same time enhancing the quality of the environment,” she said.
She also said that the NNPC had been embarking on aggressive exploration as reflected in the acquisition of a total of 6,102 square kilometres (sq.km) of seismic data, including 818 sq.km acquired in the Chad Basin in phases three, four and five combined.
Another acquisition of 266 sq.km of seismic data in the phase six is ongoing by Integrated Data Services Limited (a NNPC subsidiary) in the Chad Basin even at the height of the security challenges.
Alison-Madueke disclosed that a total of 24,680 sq.km of seismic data was either processed or reprocessed in readiness for seismic interpretation. In addition, IDSL Data Processing Centre (DPC) has been upgraded to the largest Seismic Data Processing Centre in the West African sub-region with a processing capability of 20,000 sq.km from 2,000 sq.km.
She said that government’s efforts at reducing gas flaring were beginning to yield fruits.
The minister noted that gas to non-power sector almost doubled from 185mmcf/d to 357mmcf/d, providing feedstock that had supported the recent aggressive growth in the nation’s cement sector as well as other manufacturing companies.
According to her, over 200 manufacturing industries now run on natural gas and the number continues to grow daily as more pipelines are built.
Alison-Madueke hinted that the contract for the vital 120km East-West gas pipeline crossing the River Niger had been awarded and was progressing with a target completion time of 2015.
“Engineering work is almost complete and the contractors have mobilised significant construction equipment to site ahead of commencement of construction work by October. This pipeline creates a major linkage between the huge gas reserves in the Eastern Niger Delta and other parts of the country. When completed, evolving shortfalls in gas supply to power in the Western area will be adequately and permanently mitigated with excess flows from the East via this critical pipeline,” she stressed.
While describing the Calabar-Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kano pipeline as a final element of government infrastructure expansion, she disclosed that major engineering review of the 1000km pipeline had now been concluded and that plans were under way to jumpstart this pipeline infrastructure by the end of the year or early 2014.
She added: “Over $600 million is expected to be deployed from Eurobonds being issued by the Ministry of Finance to jumpstart this pipeline by year end. By end of 2015, gas access to Abuja should have been established and Kaduna/Kano thereafter, opening up the northern half of the nation for industrial revitalisation.”
She listed some of the key achievements to include major upgrade and repair on the Utorogu/Ughelli gas plants resulting in addition of over 100mmcf/d; Oredo gas plant was completed, commissioned and added 100mmcf/d of gas, while upgrade of Escravos also resulted in additional 190mmcf/d.
She hinted that the emergency initiative was ongoing and additional 150mmcf/d would be expected by the end of the year.
She put Nigeria’s petroleum consumption for white products at estimated 38 million litres PMS, 12 million litres AGO and eight million litres DPK, whose production is inadequate for meeting domestic consumption.
According to her, to curtail the high importation, there is a plan to rehabilitate the refineries so as to obtain maximum production from the local ones, which are in a position to meet about 70 per cent of the country’s needs.
She said the reduction in consumption from over 60 million litres per day in 2011 to about 40 million litres daily in 2012 had reduced the payment of fuel subsidy from over N2 trillion for 2011 to a little above N1 trillion in 2012.
Alison-Madueke said the feat was achieved, among others, through better monitoring of vessel arrivals, discharges and truck-out of PMS from the depots by the nominated surveyors as an added check on marketers operations, in line with global best practices.
Information from Guardian was used in this report.