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We're Transforming into a Gas Nation - Alison-Madueke

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In line with the Transformation Agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to transform the economy, the petroleum sector has witnessed great strides in the drive towards repositioning the nation as a gas exploration and production country to harness the benefits of the gas as energy of the future.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, during the presentation of the ministry's Mid-Term score-card at the 2013 Ministerial Platform Tuesday where she highlighted the gains of the gas revolution to include the massive boost in gas to power supply for electricity generation up to 5GW (gigawatts), establishment of commercial framework for gas, massive development of gas infrastructure across the country and the stimulation of gas-based industrialization with the Ogidigben Gas City in Delta State as the flagship project with a capacity to create 100,000 jobs at the construction stage.

In a presentation title: Moving the Oil and Gas Industry to the Next Level, the Minister explained that Nigeria with gas reserves of 182Tcf (trillion cubic feet) as at the end of 2012 compared with total crude oil reserves of 36.8 billion barrels for the same period is more of a gas country than a crude oil country and that the global shift to the use of gas as a cleaner energy  makes the emphasis on gas development as directed by President Jonathan an imperative action for sustainable long term economic development of the country.

Alison-Madueke further explained that the massive gas infrastructure development across the country is aimed at getting gas to industries and that Abuja and the Northern part of the country will be linked with gas pipelines for rapid industrialization by 2015.

She listed some of the completed and ongoing gas infrastructure projects to include  Escravos-Oben Pipeline, expansion of Oben-Lagos Pipeline, Calabar-Ajaokuta and Ajaokuta-Kano Pipeline Systems among others.

The Minister however explained that the transformation into a gas nation is being harnessed with huge achievements in the crude oil sector where production has been sustained at an optimal level in spite of the crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism challenge.

She stated that in line with the national aspiration to grow crude oil reserves to 40 billion barrels and production to 4 million barrels per day, 'a total of 19 exploration wells were drilled comprising of 8 in the JV and 11 (3 Exploration and 8 Appraisal wells) under the PSC; 93 development wells were drilled comprising of 55 under JV and 38 under PSC; and 33 workover wells were also drilled consisting of 32 under JV and one in PSC' in the period under review.

She also disclosed that aggressive seismic and exploratory work is currently going on in the 9 inland basins with preliminary results indicating the presence of hydrocarbon in the Anambra and Chad Basins.

On achievements in the mid-stream and downstream sectors, Alison-Madueke disclosed that the Turn-Around maintenance of the Port-Harcourt Refinery will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013 while work on Kaduna and Warri Refineries is expected to be concluded by the fourth quarter of 2014.

She stated that massive pipelines and inland depots rehabilitation has also been carried out with long moribund Kaduna - Suleja, Kaduna - Gusau, Suleja - Minna, Kaduna - Jos and Jos - Gombe pipelines and adjoining depots now operational, besides the Aba and Benin depots that had earlier been commissioned.