Due to the Nigerian government’s ongoing delay in passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Russian state-owned natural gas company Gazprom may suspend its investment in a $2.5 billion natural gas project.
Nigeria's proven gas reserves are 187 trillion cubic feet (tcf), with about 600 tcf additional in possible further reserves. While Nigeria is currently the world's seventh largest holder of proven natural gas reserves, the potential further reserves could catapult the nation into the world's top three nations in terms of total natural gas reserves, This Day newspaper reported.
In March 2010 Gazprom was among 15 oil companies selected by the Nigerian government as potential investors to help develop natural gas projects, as in 2008 the company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on joint venture projects, covering petroleum, natural gas exploration and power generation.
Gazprom's Nigerian unit Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Ilyanin subsequently stated that any investment decision had to be after the general elections, stating that the company unveil its plans on the massive Nigerian project once the polls were over and the PIB signed into law. Now Nigerian energy analysts believe that Gazprom may have put the project, due to come online in 2015, on hold due to an "absence of clear rules."
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com