Nigeria LNG focused on meeting targets despite challenges – Mshelbila

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Philip Mshelbila

Philip Mshelbila, managing director and chief executive officer of Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd, has said the company is committed to increasing its production output even though theft and vandalism were gradually strangulating Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

Mshelbila said that the company has been producing between 60 to 68 percent capacity utilisation in the last month as the plant is currently experiencing a decline in production owing to escalating third party infringement on oil and gas production assets across the Niger Delta region.

Statistics from the NLNG indicates that the plant located in Bonny Island of Rivers State is producing just aboutto 68 percent of its capacity due to recurring theft of crude oil and vandalism of pipelines, among other problems.

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In other words, roughly 35 percent of our capacity is empty,” Mshelbila disclosed at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference, NOG, in Abuja.

“There are many factors, but the biggest one of them is crude oil theft. If we don’t address this, we will not get out of this quagmire that we’re in.” Mshelbila said his company had stopped exports of liquefied petroleum gas and rechanneled same for exclusive domestic use to meet demand from the local market.

Nigeria’s petroleum regulator said last week the country lost $1 billion in revenue during the first quarter of this year due to crude oil theft, warning the practise was a threat to the economy of Africa’s top producer.

Nigeria LNG is a consortium between state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Eni, TotalEnergies and Shell with a capacity of 22 million tonnes per year.

NLNG has high ambitions for its latest project. “The long-awaited expansion will increase production capacity by 35 percent from 22 million tons per annum, 22mtpa to 30mtpa and enhance NLNG’s competitiveness in the global market” .

By 1999, only ten years after its formation, the company had completed the first two of its currently six train LNG-facility.

Twenty years later the NLNG is about to build train 7 which will increase the capacity of NLNG’s facility by 7.4 mtpa of LNG.

The train 7 project will receive feed gas through a dedicated gas transmission system and will produce LNG, condensate and LPG (mainly propane and butane). The capital investment for the project will be in the order of 3 to 5 billion USD subject to final design and scope with a design life of 25 years”

The Final Investment Decision, FID, an irreversible commitment to the execution of the train 7 project was taken on December 27, 2019, in Abuja.