Says petrol subsidy to end soon
As Seplat sets 2024 to end gas flaring
By Udeme Akpan and Obas Esiedesa
The Federal Government, Thursday, rejected a single pathway concept to energy transition and net zero carbon.
The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who stated government’s position in a keynote address at the 2021 Seplat Energy summit in Abuja, explained that energy transition is a process, not an instant destination.
According to him, Nigeria will continue to explore and invest in the development of hydrocarbon resources while pushing for the use of gas as transition fuel.
He noted that for most African countries with huge energy deficit, moving away from the deployment of hydrocarbon was a huge concern, stressing that developing countries were striving to attain certain baseline of industrialisation.
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He said: “While acknowledging our commitments to net-zero as a nation, there is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria requires fossil fuel as its base load energy source. This is undoubtedly a major concern for climate activists in developed nations, but the clamour to emphasise only renewable energy as the sole pathway to energy transition is a source of concern for African countries that are still working to achieve base load industrialisation, address energy poverty and ensure reliable power supply.
“This is why in Nigeria; we reject the concept of a single pathway to the energy transition. Indeed, we prefer the concept of ‘just’ energy transition which takes into cognisance the specific circumstances of each nation in developing the energy transition pathway that best achieves the environmental, social, political and economic objectives of the transition in that specific nation.
“Multiple pathways to the energy transition should and must exist in order to ensure that no country is left behind in the process of achieving net-zero by 2050”, he added.
He explained that gas would be central to Nigeria’s plan for energy transition, adding: “First is the focus on gas. For us, this is at the heart of the energy transition and represents the first step in the journey to renewables, away from oil. Already, we have declared that gas is our transition fuel, and also represents a destination fuel, as we envisage that it will be part of our energy mix by 2050, given the vast resources that can be commercialised and utilised”.
Chief Sylva pointed out that the newly enacted Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) would assist the country to produce more oil and gas to boost its economy.
In the midsream and downstream, he disclosed that the government was on the verge of ending subsidy payment on petrol to allow for a free and competitive market.
He also said: “The PIA 2021 will undoubtedly assist in harnessing Nigeria’s potential to achieve its plan of increasing oil production to 4mb/d and oil reserves from 37bbls to 40bbls, while also drawing on the country’s estimated 600TCF of natural gas reserves to provide clean and efficient energy.
“These resources will be crucial in supplying world markets with a broad portfolio of energy options, as well as supporting the global endeavour to alleviate energy poverty as envisioned in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7”.
Similarly, the chairman of Seplat Energy Plc, Dr. ABC Orjiako, who noted that the company has set 2024 as the target to end gas flaring in all of its operations, said: “Seplat Energy delivers over 50percent of gas supply in Nigeria. Seplat is to remove gas flares by 2024. Our plan is to replace all of the wood we use in homes with the use of Liquified Petroleum Gas which is a cleaner energy. 0ver 500kg of gas will be delivered in LGP.”
Orjiako, who also noted that the company is focused on ensuring that the environment is protected through many options, including ending gas flaring, said: “Seplat Energy will be launching our tree planting initiatives from the first quarter of 2022, which will drive youth employment and a cleaner environment.
“Replacing diesel generators with cleaner renewable energy will definitely solve Nigeria’s power deficit.”
However, the Special Guest of Honour, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by Minister of State Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, said the nation’s energy transition would not be limited to incremental steps but transformation steps.
He said: “Nigeria needs a border set of policies that must align with energy security, which must foster a smooth energy transition across various levels of energy demands.
“Over the next decade, every energy segment in Nigeria will be affected by this shift in energy supply and demands.”