Chief Timipre Sylva, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has urged banks and investment firms in Europe to stop discriminating against oil and gas development projects when making investment decisions and to provide funding to Nigeria so that it can increase gas production for the continent.
The minister added that Nigeria was planning to increase its gas production from the current eight billion standard cubic feet (8bscf) per day to 12.2bscf in order to become a substitute gas supplier to Europe.
This was said by Sylva on Tuesday during a panel discussion with ministers at the ongoing Gastech Exhibition and Conference 2022 in Fiera Milano, Italy.
He underlined that the EU must establish the necessary policy framework to permit investments in oil and gas from European financial institutions and investors.
He claimed that the new European Union (EU) policy designating gas and nuclear power as “green energy” was advantageous for both Europe and Africa.
The proposal to classify investments in gas and nuclear power as sustainable finance was accepted by the EU Parliament in July 2021, opening the door for additional investments in energy independence, which was seen essential for resolving the energy crisis in Europe brought on by the Russia-Ukraine war.
Today, gas is militarized, and every nation needs a different source of supplies, Sylva said. Nigeria is putting itself in position to serve as a different supplier to Europe. To build the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline that will transport our gas to Europe, we are already collaborating with Algeria. In order to extend the West African gas pipeline to Morocco and the Mediterranean, which will transport gas to Europe, we have a relationship with Morocco. To build the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline that will transport our gas to Europe, we are already collaborating with Algeria. We all benefit, and it is in their best interests if the European banks scale back their discriminatory investments.
“We now realize that gas will not go overnight and will remain for a longer time, so it is in our common interest to finance gas.”
In order to unlock its gas potential and increase gas exports to European countries, the minister insisted that Nigeria requires cooperation, financial support, and technological assistance from Europe.
According to the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Nigeria currently has a proven gas reserve of 209.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and an additional 600tcf of unproven gas reserves (NMDPRA).
Since the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is now in effect, Sylva predicted that there will be increased gas exploration and that Nigeria will soon be able to raise its proved gas reserves to over 600tcf and rank among the gas industry’s major players.
He claimed that because of the federal government’s aggressive actions and increased investment in liquefied natural gas, the nation would emerge as one of the leading participants in the global gas market (LNG).
He claimed that Nigeria was concentrating on investing in gas and cited the designation of 2021 to 2030 as the “Decade of Gas.”