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Eni Strikes Major Gas Find In Nigeria

Italy’s Eni made a major natural gas find in the Niger Delta, with the reservoir estimated to hold about 1 trillion cu ft of gas and 60 million barrels of condensate, the company said.

The well could produce natural gas at a daily rate of 100 million cu ft or more, with condensate production at 3,000 barrels daily. Eni said production can begin immediately.

"The discovery is part of a drilling campaign planned by NAOC and aimed at exploring near-field and deep pool opportunities as 'immediate time to market' opportunities," the Italian supermajor said.

Nigeria is best known for its oil wealth but the Western African country also has the largest natural gas reserves in Africa, S&P Global Platts noted in a report of the news. The country has sought to commercialize these reserves amid growing global demand for the cleaner fossil fuel despite a significant slump in international gas prices, driven down by a string of large-scale LNG projects and strong production growth in the U.S. shale patch.

According to numbers from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria has natural gas reserves of 202 trillion cu ft, revised up from 199 trillion cu ft last year. The country also has another 600 trillion cu ft of unproven gas reserves. Of this, according to Shell, only about a quarter are in active development.

The country is home to one LNG project, which has a capacity of 22 million tons of the superchilled fuel annually. This will be boosted to 30 million tons with the addition of a new, seventh, train to the facility.

Yet Nigeria’s gas wealth is not just internationally important. The nation is one of the most underserved in terms of energy access, and natural gas would be instrumental in increasing the generation of affordable electricity from its 12 GW of installed capacity. Currently, less than half of this capacity is utilized due to transmission network inadequacies and other problems with the grid.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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