Chidi Ugwu | Indepedent
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) at the weekend urged collaborations and interventions amongst stakeholders that are needed to improve domestic gas utilisation in the country.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ engagement on gas utilisation in Nigeria, the Authority Chief Executive (ACE), Engr Farouk Ahmed, said policy frameworks such as the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP), the Decade of Gas Programme (DOGP) and the establishment of the Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund by the Authority to catalyse gas investments are yielding significant results.
He stressed that the Authority empowered by the Petroleum Industry Act (2021) is poised to enable the growth of the industry adding that the 12 regulations recently gazetted will unlock the golden opportunities and signpost the pathway to energy security.
The Authority Chief Executive submitted that the engagement seeks to encourage large consumers of petroleum products to not only operate within the regulatory space but also to become aware of the comparative advantages between the different fuels particularly gas which has been designated as Nigeria’s transition fuel.
In his address, the Executive Director, Distribution System, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure (DSSRI), Kalu Ukoha, said some of the invited institutions have been identified as operating outside the regulatory oversight which is not in consonant with the Petroleum Industry Act (2021).
“This engagement sets the objective to enlighten this end-user category on the need to urgently obtain the requisite petroleum storage license and to engender the transition from white products to gas at the last mile. The Authority’s twelve gazetted regulations define the licensing regimes, procedures and standards for handling petroleum products which when breached pose increased risks. In addition, gas as the transition fuel represents a cleaner and more cost-effective energy source,” he said.
Ukoha also hinted that the Authority encourages operators and businesses to take advantage of the evolving opportunities in the gas value chain for sustainable business growth by positioning their energy needs to embrace gas derivatives such as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Autogas, propane and butane to hedge against future global uncertainties to diesel supply.
He called for the support and collaboration of operators and businesses to achieve a safer and cheaper energy operating environment, “the Authority accordingly appeals to all petroleum handlers to fully comply with the provisions of the PIA and NMDPRA regulations and thereby avoiding strong regulatory enforcement which may adversely impact on business operations. The Authority’s statutory mandate remains to enable industry growth.”