HeadlinesOil & Gas FG accidentally discovers 206trn cubic feet gas reserves, looking for crude By maritimemag June 28, 2021 ShareTweet 1 Chinazor Megbolu The Federal Government has said it discovered 206 trillion cubic feet gas reserves while looking for crude oil. The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Timipre Sylva, made this known on Sunday at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum, saying Nigeria has “accidentally” discovered 206 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves while seeking crude oil. Sylva also noted that the country could discover an additional 600 trillion cubic feet reserve to enable it to achieve the desired development required of a gas nation. According to him; “we have a lot of gas in this country. We have 206 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves. “This number is already discovered in gas reserves and this 206 trillion cubic feet reserve was found while looking for oil, so it was accidentally discovered. “We were actually going to look for crude oil and we found gas, and in that process of accidentally finding gas, we have found up to 206 tcf. “So, the belief is that if we really aim to look for gas dedicatedly, we will find up to 600 trillion cubic meters of gas”. Sylva further noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had some positive impact on the Nigerian oil and gas sector despite its negative effect on the global economy. He explained that the pandemic era made the citizenry to take over the running of the oil and gas industry as most of the expatriates working in the sector had to travel to their countries because of the lockdown. “They (referring to the expatriates) have to rush out so that they will be locked down in their countries, and when that happened, it means that we lost a lot of expatriate personnel. “But the good side of Covid-19 for us is that our Nigerians were able to step into their shoes,” he said. Sylva pointed out that the oil-producing communities where the Port Harcourt Refinery Company (PHRC) is located are being carried along in the rehabilitation exercise. According to him; “it is not the government that will engage directly with the communities, we are the government and we have been able to give the contract to EPC Contractors, part of the EPC Contractors’ role is engagement with communities”. He posited that the rehabilitation of the refinery was done through international tenders and that international firms responded to and that the process involved consultants. Sylva also stated that the need to deregulate the sector, stressing that it’s necessary for Nigeria to move forward. “I will say that my stand on fuel subsidy and deregulation is well known. I strongly believe that for this country to move forward, for our economy to make the progress it desires, we need to have a market-driven pricing of products. “A situation where you produce something at a certain cost and you have to sell it at a lower cost to people because you are taking some of that burden off the people is not the best. “It is a very desirable thing but it is also not too sustainable because what happens is that you produce it for N10, you sell it for N5; tomorrow, you produce it again at N10, you add N5 from somewhere, produce it again at N10 and sell it for another N5. “So, the losses increase and compound on a daily basis and those accumulated losses have brought us to where we are,” he said. © 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.