Nige­ria LNG ex­ports reach US$85 bil. in 15 years

The China Post - - BUSINESS -

Nige­ria Liq­ue­fied Nat­u­ral Gas Com­pany Lim­ited (NLNG), a joint ven­ture be­tween the gov­ern­ment and for­eign oil ma­jors, has gen­er­ated some US$85 bil­lion from ex­ports since its in­cep­tion 15 years ago, the com­pany an­nounced late Fri­day.

“For us, it has been a suc­cess story. Be­tween 1999 when we came on stream and now, we have re­al­ized some US$85 bil­lion from ex­ports of liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas to buy­ers in Europe, Amer­ica and Asia,” chief ex­ec­u­tive Babs Omo­towa told re­porters in La­gos.

He said the com­pany, which was set up to har­ness Nige­ria’s vast nat­u­ral gas re­sources and pro­duce liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas for ex­port, has also paid bil­lions of dol­lars to the state in tax.

“Just a few days ago, we paid US$1.6 bil­lion to the gov­ern­ment as tax and this will go a long way to as­sist the new gov­ern­ment in solv­ing some of its prob­lems,” he said.

The new ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Mo­ham­madu Buhari, who be­came the first Nige­rian to oust a sit­ting pres­i­dent in demo­cratic elec­tions in March, is fac­ing a se­vere eco­nomic crunch.

About 20 of the coun­try’s 36 states are un­able to pay work­ers salaries.

Omo­towa said the com­pany had paid US$30 bil­lion in divi- dends to its share­hold­ers over the years, in­clud­ing the gov­ern­ment, which owns a 49- per­cent stake through the Nige­rian Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion (NNPC).

NLNG’s other share­hold­ers are An­glo-Dutch oil ma­jor Shell, which owns 25.6 per­cent, To­tal LNG Nige­ria, a sub­sidiary of French oil gi­ant To­tal which owns 15 per­cent, and Italy’s Eni, which has 10.4 per­cent.

Omo­towa said plans were afoot to ex­pand the NLNG plant in Fin­ima on Bonny is­land, in the oil and gas-rich south­ern Rivers state, by 2017.

“With six trains (pro­duc­tion units) cur­rently op­er­a­tional, plans for build­ing Train 7 that will lift the to­tal pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity to 30 mil­lion met­ric tons per an­num of LNG are cur­rently pro­gress­ing,” he said.

He said Train 7 would cost an es­ti­mated US$12 bil­lion, cre­ate 18,000 con­struc­tion jobs and bring in an ad­di­tional US$3 bil­lion in ex­ports when op­er­a­tional.

Nige­ria cur­rently ex­ports 22 mil­lion met­ric tons of LNG, mak­ing it the world’s fourth largest LNG ex­porter.

Liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas, which is cre­ated by cool­ing nat­u­ral gas and trans­form­ing into liq­uid for trans­port on tankers, rep­re­sents around 9 per­cent of global gas de­mand.

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