It is time for Gas – Tony Attah
By Ikenna Omeje
The Managing Director, Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Tony Attah has said the time for Gas has come and that after many years of exploration, production, exportation and trading of oil, gas is Nigeria’s hope for the future.
Giving a spotlight on a live interview on Train 7 on Monday, at the next Africa Energy Series Webinar organised by DMG Events, Attah said, “Nigeria has ridden on the back of oil for over 50 years but now the time has come for Nigeria to fly on the wings of gas. Gas is our main hope for the future! It’s time for gas!”
He noted that Nigeria is a gas country with some oil, and “We must therefore find a way to bridge the gap between where we are today, and where we desire to be. This is the role that gas is expected to play in the medium and long term.”
In the Webinar Series which was anchored by Pat Roberts, Managing Director of LNG Worldwide, The NLNG Boss stated that Nigeria’s scope to become a leader in the gas market is huge, as the country holds the 9th position globally on countries with proven gas reserves; and has the potential to become number four.
“Available records show that with 200TCF, Nigeria ranks at No 9 on the list of nations with proven natural gas reserves, with potential to be No 4 in the world from the additional 600TCF unproven reserves.
“Scope for Nigeria to become a leader in the market is massive. Nigeria has a huge advantage because we have gas in abundance,” he said.
Speaking on the impact Train 7 would have on local content, he said the project is expected to create over 12,000 new direct jobs, especially in the construction phase, noting that, “The FID for Train 7 and award of its EPC contract is therefore very reassuring as it renews our hope that Nigeria LNG will maintain a significant market share in the global gas market and will continue to reap the potential benefits in the market.”
On energy transition, Mr. Attah said: “There is an increasing push for energy transition from fossil fuels to new energy. The industry fully recognizes the case for this switch and the need to be involved in the protection of our planet whilst still ensuring we support the provision of adequate energy to fuel the growing world population and economies. “Whilst a quick switch to renewables and other cleaner energy sources is desirable, current data indicates that the practical reality is that it cannot be achieved on a global scale as quickly as many parties are pushing for.”
Attah who also spoke on the country’s gas industry and its competitiveness in the future, said that the country has a big role to play in the global LNG market.
“We have a workforce well positioned and motivated to help us survive these immediate blows, to stabilize us, and to even seek the opportunities in the storm.
“We as a company are ready to face the challenges putting priority on keeping our people safe, keeping our Plant/Vessels running and preserving the integrity of Nigeria LNG.”
On how the company is tackling the challenges of lower demand, occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic NLNG MD said: “The global market is faced with “Triple WARS” – China vs USA Trade War, Russia and Saudi Feud exacerbated by the arrival of COVID-19.
“This is quite unprecedented and no one knows for sure how this triple war situation will play out.”
He also said NLNG has helped reduced gas flaring by over 65 percent, noting that “NLNG does not own gas wells and as a matter of fact we buy gas from upstream suppliers. No one will spend money buying gas just to flare it.”