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Nigeria Could Triple Gas Reserves if NLNG Expansion Goes Ahead

Source: Reuters 3/8/2017, Location: Africa

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Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) could unlock three times as much gas as the country's proven reserves and create hundreds of thousands of jobs if it goes ahead with a proposed expansion plan, it said. NLNG, often cited as a successful public private partnership, is a venture between state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Eni to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export.

It currently operates six trains -- liquefaction and purification facilities - and CEO Tony Attah said the company was ready to add another two trains, although he did not say whether a final decision had been taken. Building Trains 7 and 8 would require total investment of $25 billion, he said.

Nigeria has the world's ninth largest proven gas reserves, at 187 trillion cubic feet (tcf), and Attah said NLNG estimated "scope for reserves of 600 tcf" if the company expands. "The potential investment that will come in is about $25 billion if Train 7 and 8 happen, to unlock the 600 tcf gas with (the creation of) 800,000 jobs," Attah told a press briefing. NLNG was ready in principle to go ahead, he said.

"Technology is here, people are here and the partners are already lining up." However, Attah also warned that Train 7 needed assurances around supply because the six existing facilities were not full on an annual basis. "We need a billion dollars worth of investment upstream to keep trains 1 to 6 up," he said.

NLNG, which has 23 LNG carriers, has generated $85 billion in 17 years with assets of more than $13 billion.

OPEC member Nigeria, is reeling from low oil prices and militant attacks on energy facilities in its Niger Delta energy hub, saw its economy shrink 1.5 percent in 2016 - its first full-year contraction in 25 years.

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