Nigeria will run out of its prized oil reserves in the next 25 to 30 years, which means the country should shift its focus to natural gas production, according to President Muhammadu Buhari, who spoke at a labor conference this week.
Natural gas reserves will guarantee Abuja fossil fuel revenues for 60 more years, the president added, noting that significant investments would be needed to move to the carbon-light fuel.
“Gas is the new horizon of opportunity,” he said. “There is so much happening that needs to happen, that should have happened yesterday. Gas is the future for this country and the place to be and we need to start looking at that. Increasingly, we are seeing very strong local players.”
In recent weeks, Nigeria’s focus has been on repairing and building new refineries so that Abuja no longer has to import refined petroleum products using precious foreign currency reserves.
Nigerian crude exports will top 2 million barrels per day in August, reaching a 17-month high, according to new data compiled by Reuters last week.
Attacks by militants in the Niger Delta had crippled production in 2016, but the African nation has been rebuilding output steadily through 2017. Drops in output last year were so bad that OPEC exempted Abuja from the bloc’s November deal to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day. Libya was the only other country to receive the same distinction.
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Bonny Light, also controlled by Shell, is currently under force majeure due to a critical pipeline leak that has already delayed shipments by ten days.
A new group of militants have called on former Niger Delta Avengers and other fighters to resume attacks on oil pipelines on June 30th, claiming Buhari’s administration has not done enough to ensure the area’s residents will benefit fairly from oil revenues.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…