The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says about 51 billion US dollars worth of investment opportunities exist in the country’s midstream and downstream gas sector to achieve the growth phase in the industry.

NNPC Group Managing Director Dr. Maikanti Baru, addressing the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) 10th International Conference and Exhibition here Monday, said about 35.4 billion USD in investments would be required in gas exploration and production activities, power plants projects, fertilizer plants, virtual pipelines and flare gas commercialisation initiatives.

He added that another 16 billion USD in investment would be needed in the Free Trade Zones (FTZ) infrastructure development and concessioning, port infrastructure, central gas processing facilities, gas transmission, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) plants, real estate development, pipe milling and local fabrication yards among others.

Dr. Baru said some of the key enablers which would be required for the growth of the gas sector included a clear definition of boundaries between upstream, midstream and downstream sectors, appropriate pricing structures and guarantees for payment, host communities engagement and conducive environment for investors.

“Beyond growing (the use of) gas for the power sector, there has been a strategic positioning of the sector to support massive gas-based industrialization. The intent is to position Nigeria as a regional hub for gas-based industries such as fertilizer, methanol, petrochemicals, central processing facilities, etc,” he added.

”The first of this effort is the planned 30 square kilometre gas-based industrial park in Delta State. This will be Africa’s largest purpose-built gas park supporting gas based industries.”

According to him, to bridge the huge gas supply gap, some strategic synergy opportunities for gas development were identified amongst the Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and independent operators which when pursued and implemented will not only bridge the unforeseen long term shortfall in gas supply but will also enable the nation to meet its gas aspiration.

The NNPC helmsman noted that seven key big bang gas development projects have been identified from the strategic synergy opportunities to deliver about 3.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day to bridge the foreseen medium term supply gap by 2020.