The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) says the country’s proven natural gas reserves stood at 209.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) as at January 1, 2022.
Farouk Ahmed, chief executive officer of NMDPRA, said this at the 2022 Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ahmed said the new figure signifies a major increase of 2.97tcf in proven natural gas reserves, representing a 1.42 percent increase from the 206.53tcf recorded on January 1, 2021.
Ahmed was represented at the event by Ogbugo Ukoha, executive director, distribution systems, storage and retailing infrastructure, NMDPRA.
He said the Nigerian economy had been projected to experience a growth of 2.1 percent to 2.5 percent through 2022.
He said the gross domestic product (GDP) would expand between 2.9 percent to 3.5 percent as projected by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund( IMF), adding that the progress would be driven by energy.
“Thankfully, Nigeria is endowed with enormous petroleum resources currently put at 37 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and 209.5tcf of natural gas reserves as at January 2022,” NAN quoted him as saying.
“These resource size puts Nigeria at an enviable position within the comity of global hydrocarbon producers.
“Even in this era of the global energy transition, the oil and gas sector remains pivotal to the Nigerian economy since it provides the needed cash flow for the functioning of other sectors of the economy but for how long?”
Ahmed said Nigeria needs to vigorously contemplate energy strategies amid the shift in demand and clamour for cleaner fuels.
“It is imperative that going forward all stakeholders must deliberately adopt strategies that embolden and underpin these three core principles,” he said.
“Adoption of low carbon technologies across all operations in the oil and gas value chain, deepening and penetration of natural gas utilisation domestically to increase energy sufficiency and reduce energy poverty and invest conscientiously in cleaner fuels and renewables.”
He further expressed NMDPRA’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for investments in the midstream and downstream space by encouraging industry participants through its regulatory service instruments.