NOG Energy Week: West African countries harnessing gas for industrialisation to boost economic development

Many African countries are harnessing gas and other cleaner and greener energies to drive their industrialisation journey. African countries including Ghana and Nigeria are investing in gas infrastructure and promoting its utilisation, and by extension are addressing energy poverty and environmental challenges.

The Honourable Minister of Energy for Ghana, H.E. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who recently confirmed his participation in the NOG Energy Week, taking place from 30 June to 4 July at the ICC, Abuja, amplified the need for competitive financing to propel natural gas projects.  

Nigeria, boasting gas reserves of over 200TCF, recently announced plans to execute a gas strategy that will trigger the nations industrialisation and economic growth. NNPC Limited’s Executive Vice President for Upstream, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, shared the organisation’s plans to deepen domestic gas utilisation for power generation in a bid to support the manufacturing sector. 

To transform the energy sector in West Africa, leveraging natural gas to drive economic growth and development is key. Gas for industrialisation contributes to increasing energy transition progress across the region. From revitalising key industries to fostering innovation, the strategic focus on gas underscores a commitment to propel West Africa towards a future built on energy security and economic resilience. Through the Decade of Gas Initiative by the Nigerian government, industry leaders have continually conveyed a collaborative approach aimed at unlocking the country’s energy resources.

To drive progress in Sub-Saharan Africa’s energy market, energy stakeholders, government officials, regulators, and key industry players are convening at NOG Energy Week 2024 to deliberate on policies aimed at meeting West Africa’s energy demand. The event, themed “Showcasing Opportunities. Driving Investment. Meeting Energy Demand.”, is scheduled to take place from 30 June – 4 July at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja. 

Speaking on what stakeholders should expect at NOG Energy Week 2024, the Country Director – Nigeria & Portfolio Director – Africa for dmg events, Wemimo Oyelana, said,

“Our commitment for almost 25 years has been to provide a platform where industry leaders can have frank conversations that proffer solutions to the different challenges the industry is facing. NOG Energy Week has contributed significantly to key policy development & implementation over the years. We look forward to having industry stakeholders discuss pertinent issues including; Attracting International and Regional Funding Into Nigeria’s Energy Sector, Optimising the Significance of Natural Gas as the Fuel Of Choice, and Driving Industrialisation as a Catalyst for Economic Growth

Expected government officials and industry leaders at NOG Energy Week 2024 are; H.E. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), H.E. Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Energy, Ghana, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Engr. Farouk Ahmed, Authority Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer,  NNPC Limited, Elohor Aiboni, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria’s Exploration and Production Company Limited, Dr. Philip Mshelbila, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria LNG, Eberechukwu Oji, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, ND Western, Dr Ernest Azudialu – Obiejesi OFR, Chairman, Nestoil Limited, Adewale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive, Oando PLC, Julius Rone OFR, Group Managing Director, UTM FLNG Limited, Daere Akobo. F.IoD, F.IMC, CMC, Group Chief Executive Officer, PANA Holdings, among others.

Read more

Private sector steps up efforts to expand Nigeria’s downstream gas infrastructure

Nigeria’s private sector is driving the expansion of the country’s downstream gas infrastructure in partnership with state-owned NNPC Ltd, with companies like Tetracore Energy Group and Axxela recently launching new compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. Tetracore Energy Group has commissioned a new CNG facility in Ogun State, with a capacity of 3.1 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d). The facility will support gas availability along Nigeria’s Western-Southern corridor, where some of the country’s biggest industrial clusters are located. The facility is expandable to 6.2 mmscf/d, providing room for expansion as demand for gas grows. In addition, Tetracore broke ground on a small-scale LNG plant, which will supply gas to industrial and power customers in Nigeria’s Southwest, South-South, Southeast, and Northern markets. “Tetracore is investing approximately $40 million into the future LNG plant where we are breaking ground today, with commissioning expected at the same time next year,” CEO of Tetracore Energy Group, Kunle Williams, said during a grand ceremony in Ogun State on June 7th. Last week, NNPC and Axela commissioned a CNG plant in Lagos, with a capacity to deliver 5.2 mmscf/d of gas per day, serving around 3,700 cars daily and supplying gas to industries and other companies. The partners also announced plans to build six additional CNG service plants to expand access to alternative fuel for cars and industries. Tetracore and Axxela are representative of increased private sector participation within Nigeria’s midstream and downstream gas space. Seplat Energy, one of the country’s leading independent operators, is currently commissioning the 300 MMscf/d ANOH gas plant, while NIPCO Gas and NNPC have agreed last year to invest in the development of several CNG stations across the country,. The private sector’s investment in gas infrastructure is crucial for Nigeria’s energy and industrialization landscape, as it enables the efficient utilization of natural gas for various sectors, including transportation, power generation, and industrial applications. Nigeria is pivoting toward natural gas as an alternative fuel after eliminating a widely used but expensive petrol subsidy, resulting in a sharp increase in pump prices. The government aims to reduce costs and promote clean energy adoption in Africa’s leading oil-exporting nation by transitioning to gas.

OPINION: Charting the Course – Who Dares, Wins!

The African continent stands at a pivotal juncture in the global energy sector with its abundant oil and gas reserves offering immense potential for economic growth, writes Constantine ‘Labi Ogunbiyi. However, while the continent holds significant promise, navigating the upstream oil and gas sector in Africa comes with a plethora of risks and potential setbacks that demand careful consideration and strategic planning. This is against a backdrop of cutbacks in international capital for carbon-intensive oil and gas developments and increasing competition for the same sources of capital. Innovative financing solutions are thus required to fill the void, but can only be truly successful if tailored to specific needs and adopted and respected by all stakeholders. Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, epitomizes the complexities and opportunities within the continent’s energy sector. Over the past decade, the Nigerian oil and gas industry has grappled with insecurity, asset vandalism, and community unrest, leading to a decline in investment. This coupled with the need for the sanctity of contracts and a properly structured fiscal framework has seen investment in the sector decline to about US$5 billion per annum from highs of about US$22 billion per annum in 2012. Nigeria has an abundance of unexploited discovered natural gas (as well as significant prospective gas resources), now heralded as a “clean” transition fuel amidst global energy shifts. Nigeria should seek to attract significant investment during this transition era (which has also seen crude oil prices rebound) to take full advantage of this, thus retaining the value of crude oil and gas resources to enable it to position itself for its energy transition (towards net zero) agenda. A just energy transition, the paradigm that gained impetus at the December 2023 COP28 Conference, is intended to decelerate financing fossil fuel developments while supporting those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change when facilitating the transition to clean energy. This is not simply a tweak to existing systems; it is a fundamental transformation towards a cleaner, more sustainable future. This shift is driven by environmental concerns, the changing balance of power on the global stage, and awareness that the energy-producing nations in the Global South (which produce only a fraction of global emissions) should be given a chance to “catch up” industrially, technological advancement as consumer demands. It is estimated that the country needs about US$25 billion of annual investment in the next 10 years to achieve crude oil output of three to four million barrels per day and 3 bcf per day of gas production for domestic consumption (an ambition). A lack of available infrastructure, whether because of existing compromised infrastructure through age or sabotage or simply a lack of new investment, and competition for capital regionally, poses challenges that will need to be overcome to achieve this. Inadequate infrastructure impedes the development and operation of oil and gas projects in Africa, increases project costs, delays timelines, and heightens operational risks. The new Government has declared that it is “open for business” and will take urgent steps towards solving the fiscal, regulatory, security, and other issues discouraging investment and operations in the nation’s petroleum sector – something that is urgently required to help to push its oil and gas production to the ambitious levels being targeted. The mechanisms are in place – the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) has done a lot to bring an enabling framework to the industry, including by allowing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries to raise capital on their own balance sheets, whether by divestitures or development partnerships on their blocks (including risk service contracts, financial and technical service agreements and the likes), crude forward sales, debt or equity capital raisings, etc. Still, there is a need to focus more on implementing the PIA in a manner that restores investors’ confidence and boosts oil and gas production, ultimately increasing jobs, the country’s earnings, and prosperity. Whilst international commodity traders have increased their activity and funding of oil production in Nigeria, they rarely support the development of appraisal and near-production assets. Access to innovative capital structures for such capital-intensive projects, involving a more risk-reward approach will be key to developing such assets, as will the deepening of regional capital markets to bolster the capital available from institutions such as the African Export-Import Bank and planned new initiatives such as the African Energy Bank. Effectively, more “home-grown” solutions will be required. As international oil companies shift focus to deep offshore and gas-rich assets, indigenous companies and smaller operators are stepping in to fill the void. However, accessing capital remains challenging. Innovative financing models, such as the contractor risk service  model, offer a promising solution. This model, which involves contractors taking financial risks and receiving payment from production, incentivizes efficient asset development while mitigating risk for owners and operators. The contractor taking such risk, is effectively a co-financier of, and investor in, the development of the oil block – ensuring a service that would otherwise require immediate payment, to benefit from payment from oil and gas production (therein lies the contractor risk). The success of such models hinges on the support of all stakeholders, including operators, joint venture partners, financiers, regulatory authorities, and local communities. By aligning incentives and sharing risks, these partnerships can drive sustainable development and enhance investor returns. The recent completion of the FSO ELI Akaso infrastructure project by the Century Group (CG) (part of an alternative crude oil evacuation system (ACOES)), facilitated by the contractor risk service model, exemplifies the potential for collaboration to unlock value and foster growth. The ACOES is being developed as a result of the need to enhance production and supply security from oil blocks in the Eastern Niger Delta due to infractions and prolonged outages of the Nembe Creek Trunkline (historically one of Nigeria’s major oil transportation arteries evacuating up to 150,000 bopd of crude from the Niger Delta to the Atlantic coast for export). The CG model is “Made-in-Nigeria-for-Nigeria” but can be rolled out regionally (and globally too), in countries where access