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NIGERIA - The NLNG Background.

Nigeria's LNG venture was first conceived in the 1960s. It was delayed continuously and Shell, the project leader, faced countless problems in Nigeria including a bloody civil war and successive military coups. Shell moved decisively to get the project off the ground in 1989, when NLNG was formed with state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) holding 60%. The rest was held by Shell and its partners in Nigeria's biggest oil producing venture - Elf and Agip. But there were technical problems, like the choice of process, and political obstacles. Shell kept pushing and got potential clients to sign MoUs in 1991 (see detailed background in Vol. 57, No. 7). In December 1993, the partners agreed LNG exports would begin in 1999. Ownership was then changed to: 25.6% for Shell, 15% for Elf (now TotalFinaElf) and 10.4% for Agip, with NNPC's stake kept at 49%.

West Niger Delta LNG Venture: A US consortium of ExxonMobil, Chevron, Texaco and Conoco in February 2001 signed an MoU with the government to determine the feasibility of a second LNG venture, called West Niger Delta LNG, for export to the US and other markets. Abuja approved the project in October 2001. This will have a capacity of 9m t/y and should be on stream by 2008.

The group is concentrating on non-associated gas reserves in the western Niger Delta states of Ondo, Edo and Delta. The feasibility study, which Presidential Advisor on energy Rilwanu Lukman said cost "millions of dollars", was completed in 2002. Now Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Total and Norsk Hydro are having a 4m t/y LNG venture built in Angola.

Brass River LNG Project: ENI and Phillips (now ConocoPhillips) are moving ahead with a third LNG venture, with a capacity of 5m t/y by 2007/08 and with non-associated gas to be produced by the Italian-US partnership from fields in the Niger Delta. Phillips, one of the first US firms to venture into LNG in Alaska in the 1960s, is betting mainly on the American market.

ENI believes the Italian market will absorb a major part of the LNG. Demand for natural gas in Italy is to rise from 68 BCM/y (6.6 BCF/d) in 2000 to 97 BCM/y by 2010.

Floating Shell-Statoil LNG Project: Mergin Statoil's Nnwa and Shell's Doro gas fields in adjacent offshore Blocks OPL 218 and 219, the two companies and their partners - ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, Total, Agip and NNPC - have agreed on a fourth LNG project in Nigeria. This will be a floating venture with a capacity of 5-6m t/y by 2008/09.

The two gas fields, in the Niger Delta, have 9.5 TCF of recoverable reserves. A feasibility study for the LNG project is to be issued shortly.

There are LNG export projects in Egypt, Angola, Guinea and Namibia.
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Publication:APS Review Gas Market Trends
Date:Aug 18, 2003
Previous Article:NIGERIA - The LNG Price.
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