• Oil & Gas - News
  • Updated: September 07, 2022

European Banks Must Reduce Discriminating Against Oil, Says Sylva

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has encouraged European banks and investment firms to stop discriminating against oil and gas development projects when making investment decisions and to provide finance to Nigeria so that more gas may be produced for the continent.

The minister added that Nigeria is 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.

Sylva stated this yesterday while speaking during a ministerial panel session 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 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 as essential for resolving the energy crisis in Europe brought on by the Russia-Ukraine war.

“Today, we are seeing that gas is weaponized and every country requires some alternative supply.

"Nigeria is positioning itself to become an alternative supplier to Europe.

"We are already working with Algeria to build the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline to take our gas to Europe.

“We are also having a partnership with Morocco to extend the West African gas pipeline to Morocco and the Mediterranean which will take gas to Europe.

"We are already working with Algeria to build the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline to take our gas to Europe.

“It is a win-win for all of us and it’s in their interest to reduce this discriminative investment that the European banks are doing.

“We can see now that gas will not be wished away just now and gas will stay for a longer period and it’s in our collective interest for us to provide the funding for 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."

The minister noted that Nigeria produces roughly 22 million tonnes of LNG through the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited and plans to increase that to 30 million tonnes with the NLNG Train 7 now under construction.

According to recent information provided by Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the building of Train 7 is 30% complete.

Additionally, Sylva disclosed that the government intended to boost the nation's current gas production rate of eight billion standard cubic feet (bscf) per day to approximately 12.2bscf.

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Lawrence Agbo
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