While Aboadze has started receiving about 30million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMSCFD) from Ghana Gas, Nigeria has assured of increasing supply significantly in the coming weeks.
Nigeria’s Minister for Petroleum Resources Diezani K. Alison-Madueke, in a statement read for her, assured an emergency meeting in Accra of the committee of ministers of Ghana, Togo and Benin that supply will increase from 90MMSCFD to the 130MMSCFD contractual volume in the next couple of months.
Ghana currently receives about 50MMSCFD from WAPCo augmented by 30MMSCFD from Ghana Gas, the full commissioning of which is expected to add more gas later.
“Nigeria is unconditionally committed to the objectives of the West Africa Gas Pipeline,” the Nigerian Minister said.
“Over the last month alone, gas supply to the region has stabilised to about 90 million standard cubic feet per day. This is certainly higher than the 60million average for the first ten months of the year. The challenges we have seen in supply are gradually being addressed, and very shortly we are going to be seeing a significant improvement in both the reliability and growth in supply,” Alison-Madueke’s representative said.
Over 200MMSCFD is expected to be added to the gas stock in Nigeria over the next couple of weeks, which should translate into additional supply for the region, the statement said.
To improve gas supply locally, where demand has equally been soaring — and to the sub-region, Nigeria has been implementing a number of reforms including an increase in the commodity’s price.
The Nigerian central bank has also recently intervened by paying gas suppliers over US$140million, being outstanding debts, in a bid to boost the confidence of suppliers to make necessary investments in the sector.
The Nigerian government has also signed an agreement with the major gas suppliers for an additional 2.6billion cubic feet of gas per day over the next three years.
“As we speak, we have almost completed doubling the pipeline capacity from Escravos all the way to Lagos…all of these are aimed at ensuring that the region is able to access a significant addition in supply that comes from the entire supply base in Nigeria.”
While Nigeria has assured of increased gas supply to the region, the price at which it supplies is likely to go up as it forms a key part of the agenda for the meeting of energy ministers.
The approved tariff methodology for the West African Gas Pipeline project provides that for each tariff period, the tariff is reviewed and implemented for that specific time period.
The initial tariff period commenced on November 1, 2011 and comes to an end on December 31, 2014. The second period will commence on January 1, 2015 and end on December 31, 2018.
For foundation customers like Ghana, the tariff currently is 4.23.18 per million btu; but at the time of going to press it was not clear what tariff figure the committee of ministers from the four nations agreed on for the next three years.
Director General of the West African Gas Pipeline Authority, Debo-K’mba Barandao, told the B&FT that a lot of developments are happening in Nigeria — just as is the case in Ghana, “Which really shows that the future of gas supply will be better than what we have been seeing”.