By Adewale Sanyaolu
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), says it plans to sustain and increase its aggressive gas development and gas transportation projects to achieve affordable and clean energy.
This, it said, was in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), Goal No. 7, as its strategic energy plan towards finding a balance for the energy trilemma.
The Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari, stated this while delivering a keynote address at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ (SPE) annual international conference and exhibition held in Lagos yesterday.
Speaking on the theme; “Balancing Energy Accessibility, Affordability, and Sustainability: Strategic Options for Africa, Kyari while appreciating the SPE on its consistency in leading pivotal industry professional assemblage, said that African countries still grapple with strategies of balancing energy availability with meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals No 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and No 13 (climate actions).
According to him, energy affordability entails ensuring energy and its infrastructure are priced so they can be obtained without financial strain by Africans, while energy sustainability implies that our energy use does not harm the local environment or exhaust resources, affecting future generations.
Kyari noted that despite strategic transformation witnessed in the past few years, Nigeria is not transitioning away from hydrocarbons but witnessing an increase in the footprint of alternative cleaner energy sources in the foreseeable future amid fossil fuel dominance.
“This is the reason that NNPC Limited has identified gas as a transition fuel and we are expanding our gas development and gas infrastructure across the country to increase energy accessibility. Today, Nigeria has about 209.5 Trillion Cubic Feet of natural gas reserves with a potential upside of up to 600 TCF, and this is an enormous resource that would drive cleaner and affordable energy vision. Other alternative energy sources such as solar and wind are faced with technology limitations. They are still not affordable and cannot meet the high energy demands of our industries, cities and remote environments.
NNPC Limited plans to sustain and increase our aggressive gas development and gas transportation projects to achieve affordable and clean energy which is the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), Goal No. 7, as our strategic energy plan towards finding a balance for the energy trilemma”, he said.
In his goodwill message, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Engr Farouk Ahmed, said that the energy sector in Nigeria and across Africa faces an existential challenge of the urgent need to transit from a fossil fuel dependent economy to a decarbonized economy while adding that there is more to energy transition than decarbonization in the region as millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa still live or are living without access to electricity while some only have access to very limited or unreliable electricity.
Ahmed stated that the NMDPRA is galvanizing this sector by addressing the trilemma of energy accessibility, affordability and sustainability by unlocking the full potential of natural gas which is the cleanest fossil fuel so far and has multiplier effects on all sectors of the economy, from agriculture, manufacturing, power, petrochemicals, etc.
He said, “Furthermore, the Authority has emplaced relevant regulatory frameworks (Regulations and Guidelines) for project monitoring to ensure emission reduction and decarbonization strategies are embedded into all projects from conceptualization in alignment to Government’s commitment to a carbon-neutrality by 2060, Fugitive/Greenhouse gases (GHG) reduction by 2031 and, in the same vein eliminating gas flaring by 2030.
We are also actively exploring and facilitating technologies that enable cleaner processing of fossil fuels for mandatory adoption industry wide. As the energy transition evolves, there is an opportunity to accelerate development across the gas value chain, providing a low-carbon bridge to a future of sustainable energy”.
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