The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has pledged to continue its aggressive gas development and transportation projects to provide affordable and cleaner energy to the Nigerian population, which is still facing acute energy poverty. Mallam Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, made this commitment while delivering a keynote address at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) in Lagos.
Addressing the theme, “Balancing Energy Accessibility, Affordability, and Sustainability: Strategic Options for Africa,” Kyari emphasized that Nigeria would not transition away from hydrocarbon despite the pressure from advocates of energy transition. Instead, the country plans to utilize its abundant hydrocarbon resources to drive its transition.
Kyari highlighted the significance of ongoing gas development and transportation projects in improving energy accessibility, affordability, and sustainability for Nigerians. With approximately 209.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas reserves and a potential upside of up to 600tcf, Nigeria possesses vast resources that can facilitate its vision of cleaner and affordable energy.
While acknowledging the presence of alternative energy sources such as solar and wind, Kyari pointed out that they still face technological limitations, are not yet affordable, and cannot meet the high energy demands of industries, cities, and remote areas, unlike gas.
The Nigerian energy industry has undergone strategic transformations in recent years, including the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and the establishment of NNPC Limited. The PIA allows NNPC Limited to engage in the renewable energy business, while the Nigerian Climate Act promotes the mainstreaming of climate change actions to achieve low emissions and sustainable economic development.
Regarding the energy trilemma, which involves balancing energy availability, affordability, and sustainability, Kyari stressed the importance of political will, technological innovation, effective market mechanisms, well-crafted policy interventions, and capacity building. He called for a multi-stakeholder approach involving the government, private sector, civil society, host communities, and the public.
At the conference, Roger Brown, the Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Energy, projected that Africa would require about $3.5 trillion net investment to achieve energy transition and net zero targets by 2050. Brown emphasized the need for a just and affordable energy transition that addresses essential climate targets, food production, economic development, sanitation, and health.
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) also highlighted the potential of natural gas reserves in Africa, particularly in West Africa, which is becoming a dominant energy source. Nigeria’s proven gas reserves are estimated at about 206TCF, holding the key to unlocking economic development and GDP growth.
In conclusion, Kyari urged industry stakeholders to provide affordable, clean, and efficient energy options for all Nigerians, emphasizing security, adequate investments, and collaborative efforts to achieve a sustainable energy future for the nation.
The SPE Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition aims to connect global professionals to exchange knowledge, innovation, and advancements in the oil and gas industry, with a focus on achieving a safe, secure, and sustainable energy future.