US will Benefit from Helping Nigeria Develop Natural Gas
By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has called on the United States Government to provide funding support for Nigeria to develop its natural gas resources.
This call was made by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva during a meeting with the US Secretary of Energy, Mrs Jennifer Granholm, on the sidelines of the ongoing CERAweek, in Houston Texas.
Mr Sylva said the collaboration between the US and Nigeria in this area would be of immense benefits to both countries as well as the entire globe.
“It is in the interests of the global community that there is an alternative supply of gas to Europe. The challenge for us to achieve this feat has been lack of infrastructure and we need funding to develop infrastructure for our gas and we believe that the US can provide that funding,” Mr Sylva stated.
Stating that natural gas could serve as an alternative source of energy for Europe, he said Nigeria has an abundance of the commodity that can meet European gas demands, but said that the problem has been accessibility to funds.
He explained that as part of efforts to boost gas supplies across the African continent, Nigeria has embarked upon the construction of 600 kilometres of the Ajaokuta- Kaduna- Kano (AKK) gas pipeline designed to take gas to Europe via North Africa.
Mr Sylva, therefore, called on the US to provide the needed funding for infrastructure for the exploitation of the huge natural gas in Nigeria.
“We have access to gas but access to funding has been the problem. Our desire is to be able to take gas from Nigeria through Algeria to Europe. We have already kick-started the AKK gas pipeline project and if we have the required funding we can complete that project in two years.
“Nigeria has over 206 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas reserve and unproven reserve of 600 tcf and we believe that if we target exploitation of natural gas in Nigeria, we will be able to get up to 600 tcf. We need to have the needed funding to develop our gas and the US can provide us with this funding,” he added.
In her remarks, Mrs Granholm expressed the readiness of the US to cooperate with Nigeria to develop her renewable energy sector, noting that her government was not against the development of gas or other sources of energy.
She, therefore, called for a coordinated strategy to pin down specific areas of focus where funding and other supports would be required.
“Investors are interested in funding renewable energy in Nigeria but they are interested in knowing possible areas of focus. We have to work out a structured way to access the fund,” Mrs Granholm said.