Despite the sharp decline in LNG utilization in many parts of the world last year, gas exports from West African producers, especially Nigeria, showed some resilience in 2020, trading 27.6 billion cubic feet (bcm) of gas equivalent to the total 39 bcm traded by the region.
The country’s export was down one per cent in 2019, and not far off the 30 Bcm/year (22 million mt/year) capacity of the six-train Nigeria LNG (NLNG) facility.
That was despite sharp falls in LNG utilisation rates in other parts of the world last year, particularly in the U.S. over the summer, while spot-exposed Egypt halted LNG exports almost completely in the April-September period.
Noting that much of Africa’s gas supply growth would come from Nigeria, PwC, in its Africa Oil and Gas Review 2020, themed: “Energising a New Tomorrow,” said the positive outlook for natural gas, often termed the renewable bridging fuel due to its lower carbon footprint, will see stronger price and demand recovery as countries move to rebuild their economies.
The report reflected the opportunities in gas export for Nigeria, noting that Africa consumes 63% of its total gas production, predominantly for power generation, even though the continent’s gas exporting countries saw a total decline of more than 6% in 2020 from 39.7 mtpa in 2019 to 37.3 mtpa in 2020.
Despite its resilience last year, however, there is growing concern in Nigeria that militants could be set to resume regular attacks on oil and gas infrastructure.
In November, a gas pipeline in Rivers State was damaged by explosions, which impacted oil and gas production, and briefly suspended exports of Nigeria’s Brass River crude.
Earlier in January, residents of Oduoha Community in Emohua Council of Rivers State were thrown into panic after a gas pipeline operated by the Nigerian LNG Limited (NLNG), and Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), exploded on Tuesday.
The Guardian learnt that a gas pipeline that runs through the community to a terminal in Bonny Island had exploded in the community, creating a heavy impact on the environment.