Buhari, at the opening ceremony of the 6th African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition on Monday in Abuja, expressed concern over the huge volume of gas flared in Nigeria and Africa on daily basis.
The theme of the congress is: ‘’Positioning African Petroleum for Global Development and Value Addition’’.
According to President Buhari:“The use of gas in Africa’s future energy mix has become imperative.
“If Africa must meet her future energy needs, the issue of the development of a robust gas infrastructure must be jointly addressed.
“Currently Nigeria has the seventh largest gas deposit in the world and the highest quality; rich in liquids and low in sulphur.
“Reserves are put at over 185 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) and undiscovered reserves estimated at 400 TCF with a capacity to peak to 600 TCF.’
Buhari said Nigeria has established the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) to provide gas transportation to newly established power plants and to facilitate domestic energy supply, adding that at the sub-regional level, Nigeria was actively involved in the West African Gas Pipeline Project that would deliver clean and safe natural gas from Nigeria to many West African countries.
Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, he said the Nigeria Gas Master Plan and the Gas-to-Power-Initiative clearly exemplified the focus of our nation.
He urged APPA member countries to enter into profitable partnerships in Natural Gas business with Nigeria.
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Buhari said that globally, over 150 billion cubic meters of associated gas was flared annually; ”of this figure, Africa flares an estimated 40 billion cubic meters annually.
“In Nigeria, gas flaring amounts to about 23 billion cubic metres per annum in over 100 flare sites constituting over 13 per cent of global gas flaring.
“Nigeria is a member of the World Bank Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GCFR) Partnership and with the support of our legislature, we will sign the United Nations Agreement of Zero Routine Flaring by 2030, although our national target is 2020.
“I urge all APPA member countries to set realistic targets for gas flare-out in the region,’’ he said.
Buhari said that Nigeria would continue to pursue focused Renewable Energy initiatives through prudent management of resources under a Bio-fuel programme for the production of fuel-ethanol and bio-diesel.
He added that the resulting “Green Gasoline” would reduce the volume of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, improve air quality and ultimately reduce global warming and its catastrophic consequences.
The President said that the renewable energy initiative would not only help the Nigerian economy but would also assist other APPA countries to create jobs.
He called for a common approach to local content to ensure that the whole of Africa benefited from economies of scale associated with their vast resources.
“Africa must substantially achieve value addition in the exploitation of its natural resources; APPA must recognise that the development of domestic refining capacity in oil and gas is critical to sustainable economic growth.
“I challenge African Ministers of Energy to further explore cooperation mechanisms to expand regional refining capacities in an efficient and cost effective manner.
“Let me assure that Nigeria is ever ready to provide support in manpower development through the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun and the Petroleum Training Institute, Warri,’’ Buhari said.
Also, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said that the meeting was apt as it came at the time when oil volatility had become major concern.
He said that there was the need for enhanced bloc relations to ensure positive change in the industry.
Kachikwu expressed hope that oil price would soon come up for betterment of the oil producing states.