Nigeria Welcomes Energy Companies to Invest $20B in Gas Reserves

Nigeria's government is looking for big-time investments for undeveloped reserves. The Financial Times reported that the West African nation wants energy companies to pump $20 billion into the country's natural gas reserves.

The Nigerian government has presented a policy calling for explicit support that would "prioritize domestic gas supplies over export."

Nigeria holds some 260 Tcf of natural gas, which constitutes a number that is triple to Nigeria's oil reserves. In a report dated April 2007, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that Nigeria produced 770 Bcf in 2004 alone. EIA claimed that "Nigeria flares more natural gas than any other country in the world.

"The government plans to raise earnings from natural gas exports to 50 percent of oil revenues by 2010. However, NNPC estimates that $15 billion in private sector investments is necessary to meet its natural gas development goals by 2010."

A Nigerian government official wishing to remain anonymous stated in the Financial Times report that producers would potentially need to offer to Nigeria as much as 25% to 30% of the gas they recover. The EIA report indicates that of the 770 Bcf produced in Nigeria, the country uses 325 Bcf.

The oil-rich country has been plagues by power shortages stemming from sabotage and inadequate supplies of electricity due to outdated power supply centers.

Shell, Total, and ENI are the companies holding a stake in Nigeria's only export terminal.

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