Emeka Okwuosa, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of Oilserv
In his contribution to a Panel Session, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of Oilserv, a company known for laying of gas pipelines, Emeka Okwuosa, said, key issues to contend with is infrastructure to breach gap. He stated further that the way gas in Nigeria is produced and utilized in terms of export, domestic and upstream use including the aspect of flaring, what is key is domestic gas. This will make huge difference, “If we need to develop as a country, we must have to know how to maximize the use of gas.” Gas is like oil and it is such a commodity that the only way it can be maximized, is to match supply with consumption. Gas gives room for storage in order to be maximized to change its form. Okwuosa noted that domestically, a company can embark upon LNG and micro LNG which are virtual pipelines beyond normal pipelines.
He observed that storage is a constraint because production cannot be marched with storage, it has to be evacuated. In terms of domestic use, pipeline infrastructure is paramount.
The Oilserv boss revealed that the company has been foremost in pipelines and in terms of gas, Oilserv has developed capacity over the years since 1995. It has built a lot of gas infrastructures in Nigeria including supplies to power plants such as Ehovor and Alaoji Power Plants among others. The company is also involved in the construction of OB 3 pipelines which can move at the top capacity of 2 billion standard cubic feet of gas a day. It is a major interconnection between east and west of Nigeria which is also part of the Gas Master Plan.
Okwuosa reiterated on the Ajaokuta-Kano-Kaduna (AKK) pipelines which Oilserv is actively involved in, as another game changer with the ability to move gas to Kano, and other northern parts of the country, which creates the possibility to have energy to drive power systems. The plan is also to have gas fired power plants, one in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano. According to Okwuosa, the main issue is, without infrastructure, it will be difficult to utilize gas because “It is going to be a pipedream.”
The pipeline guru added that with gas, there are big companies that will showcase their capacity and strength.
Cogent issues surrounding policies, regulations and pricing of gas pertains to cautious plan on how project will be executed in order to ensure that plans put in place are achievable. Also, to do projects with reasonable cost, to ensure that the plans for which the project is going to achieve is not constrained because it will increase the cost of end users of gas and create problems for investment.
Okwuosa was of the view that there is need for discipline in dealing with gas issues. Nigeria should take cue from other countries like Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago among others. For instance, in “Trinidad and Tobago, projects are executed speedily according to the budget of the country on schedule which is difficult in Nigeria.”
Nigeria needs to work hard to ensure that its ability to breach supply and demand is attained. The country should have a plan and work with it by implementing projects speedily as well.