Nigeria is expecting over $25 billion investments in the gas sector even as she is expected to cut gas emissions to the lowest rates within the next few years.

The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, gave these projections at the ongoing 50th Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, United States.

Baru said appropriate policy measures had been adopted to ensure that Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources industry become more investment-friendly and volume of gas flares is reduced considerably with the implementation of the policies.

A statement issued by NNPC’s spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, quoted the Group Managing Director (GMD) as saying that gas flaring in Nigeria has reduced significantly from 25 per cent to 10 per cent in the last 10 years.

Baru, who made the disclosures in different panel sessions of the Conference told the global audience that huge opportunities abound in nation’s gas sector, adding that within the next decade over $25 billion investments will be attracted to the sector.

Noting that Nigeria’s petroleum industry remains the most promising in terms of investment in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a lot of potential in the deep water oil and untapped gas resources, Baru explained that the sector offers opportunities for investors in exploration, refining, storage, transportation, power, distribution and marketing of petroleum products, amongst others.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Nigeria’s Gas Flare Commercialisation, Prospects and Opportunities’, the NNPC chief explained that in the last decade, gas flaring had significantly reduced in the country, adding that with the multi-pronged approach being undertaken by corporation to tackle gas flaring, the problem will soon be fully addressed.

He listed the three-point strategy to reduce gas flaring to include, ensuring the non-submission of Field Development Plans to the Department of Petroleum Resources without a viable and executable gas utilisation plan; reduction of existing flares through a combination of targeted policy interventions in the Gas Master Plan, and the re-invigoration of the flare penalty through the 2016 Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme and through legislation.

Baru projected that the implementation of the strategy would not only see Nigeria dropping from being the second highest gas flaring oil-producing country globally to seventh, but would also be a remarkable mileage in the country’s gas commercialisation prospects.

He stated: “Total flares have significantly reduced to current levels of about 800mmscfd, and in the next one to two years, we would have completely ensured zero routine flares from all the gas producers.

“Today, we have completed and inaugurated almost 600 kilometres of new gas pipelines, thereby connecting all existing power plants to permanent gas supply pipelines. We are also currently completing the construction of the strategic 127-kilometre Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben gas pipeline, ‘OB 3’, connecting the eastern supply to the western demand centres”, Baru added.

Expatiating on other initiatives being embarked on by the state-owned oil company, the GMD explained that apart from looping the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System 2 gas pipeline projects to increase gas volume capacity to at least 2scf/day, the corporation recently signed the contract for the 614-kilometre Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline project.

He pointed out when completed, the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline project would deliver gas to the ongoing power plants around it and also supply gas to the manufacturing industries in the Northern part of the country.