Nigeria’s natural gas exports cross US$85bn mark

Nigeria LNG Plant - Shell - FlickrAnothr production unit is being added to the LNG plant in Nigeria's Rivers state. (Image source: Shell/Flickr)Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited (NLNG) has generated revenues of about US$85bn from exports since it started operations 15 years ago

NLNG was set up to harness Nigeria’s vast natural gas resources and produce liquefied natural gas for export. To date, it has paid billions of dollars to the state in taxes and has also paid US$30bn in dividends to shareholders. The company started in 1999 as a joint venture between the Nigerian government, which owns a 49 per cent stake in NLNG through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and foreign oil companies. Shell owns 25.6 per cent, Total’s subsidiary Total LNG Nigeria owns 15 per cent and Eni owns the remaining 10.4 per cent.

Babs Omotowa, CEO of NLNG, said that the company is planning to expand operations by enlarging its Finima facility on Bonny island which lies in the oil and gas-rich Rivers state. The expansion is set to be completed by 2017. “With six trains (production units) currently operational, plans for building Train 7 that will lift the total production capacity to 30mn metric tonnes (mt) per annum of LNG are currently progressing,” he explained. He also said that the new production unit, which will be built at a cost of about US$12bn, will create 18,000 construction jobs and bring in an additional US$3bn in exports when operational.

Liquefied natural gas, which is created by cooling natural gas and transforming into liquid for transport on tankers, represents around nine per cent of global gas demand. Nigeria currently exports 22mn mt of LNG, making it the world’s fourth largest LNG exporter.

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