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The Federal Government has said that it will optimise the country’s abundant gas resource to achieve transition to low carbon energy sources.

Timipre Sylva
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva

Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, made this assertion at the 2021 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) on Tuesday, August 3, in Lagos.

The conference has as its theme: “The Future of Energy – A Trilogy of Determinants: Climate Change, Public Health, and the Global Oil Market.”

Sylva said: “The scenario being projected by some energy experts is that energy transition to low carbon energy sources would make the world a better living place with a cleaner climate.

“I believe so too, likewise the Government of Nigeria.”

He, however, faulted the assumption that the transition to the use of low carbon energy solutions must happen simultaneously across the globe.

The minister noted that those pushing for the move failed to take into account the different socio-economic, political and developmental peculiarities of individual nations.

“Let me state categorically that our approach towards the climate-change-net-zero-emission debate is to optimise the use of our abundant gas resource domestically as a transition fuel option towards meeting our Nationally Determined Contributions on climate change.

“As a government, we are determined to encourage more penetration of natural gas and its derivatives for domestic utilisation, power generation, gas-based industries and propulsion in all aspects of the national economy.

“This would in a fundamental manner address the great challenge posed by volatile oil market, the environmental issues and public health concerns,” said Silva.

He said it was obvious that the world was migrating from a fossil fuel-based economy to renewable energy.

This, he added, had engendered a corresponding decline in hydrocarbon including possible divestiture in the sector as deliberate frameworks were being championed to discourage extraction of carbon-laden resources.

The minister noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had further exacerbated the investment decline.

Sylva said the government was, therefore, collaborating with its global partners in exploring policies, technologies and investments.

He said this was aimed at addressing the challenge of migrating from carbon dependent fuels in order to meet its commitment to the Paris Agreement.

“It is our belief that the distinguished Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) will be in the forefront of our quest to achieve the desired balance of clean environment, safe public health and a renewed global oil market.

“This SPE Annual International Conference and Exhibition will be an appropriate platform to bring to the front-burner the critical discussions that would forge a robust and implementable clean energy solutions pathway for Nigeria,” the minister said.

Mr Roger Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, said the company was committed to the aspirations of Nigeria and would continue to invest towards the objective.

Brown, represented by Mr Effiong Okon, Executive Director of Operations, Seplat, commended the government for initiating projects and programmes to boost gas development in Nigeria.

He said the programmes included the National Gas Expansion Programme, National Gas Transportation Network Code and Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme.

According to him, the construction of infrastructures such as the NLNG Train 7 Project, Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) and the Obiafu-Obrikon-Oben (OB3) pipelines will help deepen gas utilisation in Nigeria.

Brown said Seplat would continue to make investments to support the vision of the government, adding that the company was currently supplying 30 per cent of gas to the electricity sector.

By Solomon Asowata

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