A significant portion of Nigeria’s natural gas is processed into liquefied natural gas (LNG).
A significant portion of Nigeria’s natural gas is processed into liquefied natural gas (LNG). Nigeria's most ambitious natural gas project, the $3.8 billion NLNG facility on Bonny Island, was completed in September 1999. In January 2006, NLNG sent its first shipment of LNG exports to the United States from its newly-commissioned fourth train. The company’s fifth train began operating in January 2006 as well.
The additional two trains have increased annual production capacity to 17 million tons per year of LNG. Plans have been approved for a sixth train (to come online in 2007), which is expected to bring total capacity to 22 million tons per year. The facility is currently supplied from dedicated (non-associated) natural gas fields, but it is anticipated that, within a few years, half of the input natural gas will consist of associated (currently flared) natural gas from existing oil fields. In January 2005, ExxonMobil signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NNPC to study the possibility of constructing a second LNG plant on Bonny Island to come online in 2010. The plant would produce around 4.8 million tons per year of LNG.
Plans for additional LNG facilities in Nigeria are also being developed. In January 2005, Chevron announced the possibility of constructing a $7 billion LNG plant, OK-LNG, at Olokola in western Nigeria. The plant would have an initial capacity of 11 million tons per year and a maximum capacity of 33 million tons per year. Construction is expected to begin in 2006, with completion in 2009.
Chevron’s final investment decision (FID) deadline for the project is March 2006. If Chevron decides not to financially commit to the project, Shell has been named as a possible alternative operator. In December 2005, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Agip met with NNPC to sign a shareholders agreement for the establishment of the $3.5 billion Brass River LNG plant. If the project continues along the current timetable, its two LNG trains will be operational by late 2009. A FID for the project is scheduled to be made in September 2006.
Chevron's Escravos Gas Project (EGP) came online in 1997. In 2000, total capacity was 285 MMcf/d of natural gas. The facility’s output capacity will be expanded to 630 MMcf/d of natural gas in 2007. Chevron is also working on the Escravos gas-to-liquids (GTL) project that is expected to have production capacity of 33,000 bbl/d.
Completion of the GTL project is scheduled for 2009. However, the project has been slowed by community complaints over not employing local residents to work at the facility. It is likely that Chevron will look for state intervention to help resolve the issue. A year earlier, the Nigerian government halted the implementation of the Escravos GTL project due to high costs. Future plans for the project include linking the Escravos pipeline system with the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) for natural gas export to Benin, Togo and Ghana.
Source: Energy Information Administration