With its current output of 350Mscf of gas per day for the Nigerian domestic market, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, says it is set to at least double its gas production capacity in the next three years.
“We deliver some 350Mscf of gas per day into the domestic market and most of it for power generation.
“We are responsible for one-third of gas to power in Nigeria and we are increasing that; we will double our capacity in the next three years,’’ Seplat’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Austin Avuru, said on Friday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.
Mr Austin Avuru, CEO of Seplat Petroleum Development Company.
Avuru, who is participating in the ongoing Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), presented a paper on “New Strategies to Accelerate the Industry’s Response to Environmental Pressures’’ at a panel discussion.
The theme of the 2019 ADIPEC is “Oil and Gas 4.0.’’
In the paper made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, he said that efforts would be geared toward diesel substitution for gas to put the country on a sound clean energy footing and to mitigate the effect of climate change.
“There is non-grid electricity generated by diesel generators and that is where as a matter of policy, the substitution of that diesel generation with gas generation is a major national policy; and Seplat as a company plays a key role in that.
“So for us, both as a nation and as a company, our key efforts are geared towards diesel substitution by gas,’’
On questions about what Nigeria as a major producer of crude oil and Seplat as a company are doing to protect the environment, Auru said Nigeria was committed to a 20 per cent reduction in Greenhouse gas emission by 2030 through its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol.
He said: “Nigeria’s emission is only 0.3 per cent of the total world’s emission and the country’s energy mix is 15 per cent hydro and 85 per cent gas to power.
“There is non-grid based electricity generated by diesel-powered generators. And as a result, the country has formulated a policy aimed at shifting from diesel to gas generation.
“Seplat Petroleum is a Nigerian independent producing company generating some 120,000 barrels equivalent of oil and gas per day, listed on the board of London Stock Exchange and Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos. Our production is roughly 50-50 ratio of oil and gas.
“The world needs energy to survive, but the world also needs a clean environment to survive. So, it is finding that balance between delivering the energy the world needs and being environmentally protective and that is what this discussion is all about.’’
Describing Nigeria’s energy mix as friendly, the Seplat boss said: “Fortunately, our energy mix even at the starting point is friendly. It is 15 per cent hydro and 85 per cent gas to power. There is no coal power in Nigeria.
Avuru said the solution to cutting down gas emission lies with efficient use of gas, gas flaring capture, reforestation and smart agriculture.
According to him, between 2009 and 2019, Nigeria’s gas flaring reduced by 45 per cent which happened not necessarily because of policies, but for the market that the country’s power generation policy has created.
“We all agree that within the oil and gas space that the solution to environmental stewardship lies with gas, efficient use of gas, and gas flaring capture for power generation and that is also the role we play.
“Nigeria is committed to zero flaring in the next five years. It looks ambitious, but I will tell you that the last 10 years between 2009 and 2019, our gas flaring has reduced by 45 per cent.
“And most of this didn’t necessarily come through policies, though there are policies to penalise flaring. What has happened is that a domestic market for gas has been created with the power generation policy.
“For us at Seplat, for instance, if I’m selling a million Btu of gas for 3 dollars, it’s stupid to flare it. So, there is now a commercial imperative to capture otherwise flared gas and put it to use and make money out of it.
“So, over the last ten years, we have had a larger reduction in flared gas than the previous 30 years. And over the next five years, we think that we will completely eliminate gas flaring.
“Diesel substitution to gas generation is being worked on and the efficient use of that follows; then, there are other environmentally-friendly efforts, like reforestation that are ongoing.
“Deforestation in Nigeria has been a big issue. So, smart agriculture, and reforestation through tree planting are initiatives put together by the government and pushed by the private sector, including independents like us.’’ Avuru said.