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NNPC Upbeat Over Proposed $2.3bn Domestic Gas Market

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is optimistic about the future of a proposed $2.3billion domestic gas market as well as plans to rehabilitate the country’s refineries. NNPC Group General Manager, Corporate Planning and Strategy, Meyiwa Eyesan, stated this on Saturday at the First Akomeno Oteri Annual Lecture organised by the Nigeria Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE).

The virtual lecture was in commemoration of the association’s 45th anniversary, with the theme, “Long Term Funding for E&P Business in Nigeria: Strategies and Sustainability.”

Eyesan said the corporation was not desperate to sell off its equities in oil companies in partnership with NNPC, adding that NNPC has decided not do it alone but go into partnership with the private investors.

“What we have done in the upstream sector is what we are going to replicate in the downstream by going into partnership with private investors,” she noted, saying the approach would be seen in the rehabilitation of the old pipelines and refineries. “The pipelines and the refineries are open to partnership on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) bases,” she explained.

According to her, the corporation has gained traction and reduced its JVC cash call debt from $5 billion in 2015 to $3 billion in five years. She attributed the development to the efficient business plan put in place by the corporation.

Responding to suggestions that NNPC should shed its financial burdens in JVC commitments, Eyesan said, “This is the wrong time to sell our equity to any trusted partners.”

In his remarks, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, urged NAPE to be forward-looking and proactive, bearing in mind the place of oil and gas in the next 40 to 50 years. Kyari said NAPE should ensure that it remained relevant in the coming years.

He said there was need to monetise the resources from the oil and gas sector as well as boost the domestic market for petroleum products.

Other panellists at the online lecture advocated the establishment of an energy bank as a way to properly fund the oil and gas sector. They said given the paucity of funds in the post COVID-19 era due largely to fall in oil prices, the one per cent of their turnover being contributed to the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) should be the take off fund for the energy bank.