The Nigerian National Petroleum Co. Ltd. (NNPC) has held talks with a South Korean consortium toward a potential agreement for the export of Nigerian liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the East Asian country.
Mele Kyari, chief executive of Nigeria’s national oil and gas company, led a delegation to Seoul for the meeting with a consortium led by Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. last month, NNPC said in a recent news release. The two sides talked about potential cooperation on gas development in the West African nation, it said.
“The talks were aimed at deepening NNPC Ltd.’s drive to tap into the nation’s vast gas resources to be a supplier of clean and affordable energy to the global market”, NNPC reported.
“South Korea is a major destination for Liquefied Natural Gas exports and the consortium, in collaboration with the Korean Export-Import bank, has expressed interest in advancing discussions on investing in greenfield and other gas development opportunities.
“The talks will pave way for the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding that will unlock strategic foreign direct investment in line with the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration’s policy of making Nigeria a prime destination for global investors”.
Nigeria had 208.83 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves as of January 1, 2023, as declared by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) at last year’s Nigeria International Energy Summit.
In LNG trade Europe has been Nigeria’s biggest market accounting for 423.8 billion cubic feet (12 billion cubic meters, or bcm) of the country’s total LNG exports 2022, according to the latest “Statistical Review of World Energy”, a yearly report previously published by BP PLC but transferred to the London-based Energy Institute starting with the 2023 edition. Asia-Pacific received 5.6 bcm (197.8 bcf) of Nigerian LNG 2022, with South Korea emerging as Nigeria’s top LNG buyer with 800 million cubic meters (28.3 bcf) imported that year, according to the report.
Natural gas production in Nigeria has grown 0.3 percent annually in the decade to 2022, with output that year standing at 40.4 bcm (1.4 tcf), the report showed.
Nigeria’s LNG sector marked a breakthrough last December with the signing of an agreement by NNPC, local energy engineering company UTM Offshore Ltd. and the Delta state government for the construction of a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) plant. The project, the first Nigerian FLNG plant according to developer UTM, has a planned capacity of 1.81 metric tons per annum (MMtpa) to 2.72 MMtpa.
“More than this, there are several Floating LNGs that we are promoting, including fixed LNG projects”, Kyari said in a media announcement at the time.
The $2.1-billion project expects a final investment decision within the first quarter of this year, according to news information from the African Energy Chamber.
Gas Development Auction
Besides South Korea, Argentina also expressed interest in investing in Nigeria’s gas sector, according to the NUPRC. The commission earlier reported that the South American country through its Ambassador to Nigeria Alejandro Herrero declared readiness to participate in gas exploration and production in Nigeria. “The Ambassador, who was on a courtesy visit to NUPRC, told the Commission Chief Executive that his country is out to explore every opportunity for partnership and investment within the Nigerian Gas fields”, the NUPRC stated in a media announcement November.
The bid to woo gas investors from Argentina and South Korea comes as Nigeria prepares for its gas fields auction later this year. “[T]he commission will in a matter of weeks commence auction of uncommitted Gas fields in Nigeria”, said the November report.
“[T]he petroleum fiscal systems in Nigeria is now opting for production sharing contracts as a new model of agreement for the exploration and production of oil and gas resources”, the report said.
In announcing the South Korean talks the NNPC simultaneously said Nigerian gas player Temile Development Co. commissioned a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessel with a capacity of 23,000 cubic meters (812,200 cubic feet) in the South Korean city of Ulsan.
“This will go a long way in improving access to LPG in the domestic market and provide cleaner fuel in our country”, NNPC chief executive Mele Kyari was quoted as saying in the press statement. “Nigeria’s objective is to ensure that everyone has access to clean energy and particularly walk away from bio-mass as a source of energy”.
The NNPC added it is building its own LPG vessels in partnership with West Africa Gas Ltd.
Nigeria’s National Gas Expansion Program aims to make LPG “the fuel of choice” in the country’s power and small industry sectors.(RIGZONE.COM)