The prevailing natural gas crisis in Europe has presented a new urgency to the Nigerian government's prospects to ramp up gas production through big-ticket projects such as the AKK and the Trans-Saharan Pipeline already under consideration.
In an Interview with BusinessDay's Isaac Nyaogu, and other reporters, Emeka Okwuosa made a case for a critical role for local oil servicing companies in the project. Okwuosa doubles as the Chairman of the oil Serv and Group CEO. Recently, he was awarded the title of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) national honor by President Buhari.
Okwuosa's national honor's recognises his role in delivering critical infrastructural projects, which have had ripple effects in growing the country's economy. When asked how he would deliver the new pipeline projects, with one expected to connect Spain to the Nigerian gas pipeline, the Group's CEO expressed his confidence in delivering world-standard energy infrastructure regardless of its complexity.
"Over the past 25 years, we have been involved in many projects and have delivered even on difficult ones. Difficult in terms of technical, environmental and sometimes because of politics or even due to insecurity.
Despite this, we have delivered on those projects. Oilsery has built several pipelines in difficult terrains- land, swamps, mountains and across rivers. So, I am delighted that a Nigerian company can develop the necessary skill set and capacity to deliver oil and gas facilities of world-class standards," said Okwuosa.
New Pipelines Will Address Nigeria's Bottlenecks
According to Okwuosa, the shortage of pipelines to distribute gas is the biggest bottleneck in the utilisation of gas energy in Nigeria today, with the LNG for international sales and delivery lacking. The Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline is one of the two major international pipelines that are being envisaged to improve the distribution of Nigerian gas beyond the country's borders. The Pipeline will take off from Kano and through the Niger Republic and Algeria and finally deliver gas to Europe.
Another project that could soon be implemented is the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline running offshore from West Africa to North Africa. The Pipeline will run from the Niger Delta to the offshores of Nigeria's capital, Lagos, and then through the countries located on the coast of west Africa to Mauritania. The Pipeline would then be constructed on land through Morocco, crossing the channel and linking up to Spain.
Currently, the Nigerian government is working on a Gas Masterplan to look into the backbone gas transmission system incorporating the Escravos-Lagos pipeline, including the recently finished second loop. The Masterplan also incorporated the OB3 Pipeline, a critical interconnector between the East and West networks. The Masterplan also deals with the South to North, with the KK pipeline currently under construction being part of it.
Despite the brighter future of the Nigerian gas industry, the CEO highlighted pipeline vandalism as one of the country's major threats to pipeline infrastructure and mentioned using advanced tech to curb the problems. However, he added that collective responsibility and participation are the best way to address various problems from their root causes and find a suitable solution for each case.
Nigeria is also looking to boost its oil production to 1.8mbd following the Forcados pipeline restoration.