Oil and Gas

Energy Transition in Africa should leverage on its gas reserves- NGA Scribe

By Aherhoke Okioma

An energy expert Mr Odianosen Masade has urged the African continent to adopt a diversified approach to the energy transition quest and leverage on its abundant gas reserves.

Masada, Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) expressed the view in an interview on Monda in Yenagoa against the backdrop of rising global energy costs.

He noted that amidst the lingering global energy crisis and increased calls for the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions, the NGA advocates a diversified approach to energy transition.

According to Masade, Africa needs to be cautious and consider all the pertinent issues in transitioning from fossil fuel to cleaner, more sustainable energy sources.

He explained that Africa accounts for the least share of global greenhouse gas emissions, at just 3.8 percent in contrast to 23 per cent in China, 19 percent in the US, and 13 percent in the European Union.

He said that while Africa is the least industrialized of all the continents in the world, yet one of the most vulnerable to climate change.

Masade said that it was regrettable that whilst the developed economies responsible for the challenges posed by climate change took over a century to reposition for fossil transition, Africa is expected to transition over a few decades.

He applauded the recent transformation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into a commercially and profit oriented business entity.

According to Masage, experts in the energy sector have long advocated for the privatization of the public-owned behemoth to increase its efficiency and separate its regulatory, revenue generating, and oil production components.

“The idea is for the entity to become profitable. With privatization, the NNPC will be relieved of all the burdens of government control and become autonomous.

“The NNPC can now be listed on the Stock Exchange, secure investments and generate more revenue for the country,” Masada said.

However, the NGA scribe expressed the need for proper implementation of the new policy without jettisoning proposed changes in the operation of the company in the new era.

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Masade, who is also the Corporate Communications Lead, Eroton Exploration & Production Company, examined some of the socio-economic and political issues shaping the global energy market.

The indicators, he said include the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the controversial visit of United States House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, and the latest meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus (OPEC+).

OPEC+ is an oil supply rival pressure group consisting of 13 OPEC members and 10 of the world’s major non-OPEC oil-exporting nations, aimed to regulate the supply of oil in order to set the price on the world market.

“The meeting was held against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, which has led to a global energy crisis with the limits placed on Russian fossil fuels.

“The United States has already earlier called on Saudi Arabia to pump out more oil to fill in the gap.

“While the cartel (OPEC), is under obligation to protect its members including Nigeria, the current reality indicates that outcome will be shaped by the decisions of the big global players such as the US, Russia and Saudi Arabia,” Masade said.

He lamented the challenges inhibiting Nigeria from maximizing the opportunities presented by the conflict in Ukraine, which has reduced the global supply of gas.

According to Masade, lack of political will and lack of investments in critical infrastructure are some of the greatest reasons for Nigeria’s disadvantaged position.

He listed one of such infrastructure that would have generated significant income for the country as the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline, which will traverse Nigeria, Niger and Algeria across the Sahara Desert to Europe.

According to Masade, it is estimated that once completed, the $13 billion pipeline would transport up to 30 billion cubic meters (1 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas per annum from Warri in Nigeria through Niger and Algeria onto Europe.

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