If natural gas keeps being exploited without caution in Nigeria, it could lead to earthquakes in the coming years.
This is according to a statement made by the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, during a presidential town hall series on Sunday, November 13, organized by Arise Media and monitored by Nairametrics.
Case in point: One of the largest natural gas fields in the world, the Groningen natural gas field in the Netherlands, is shutting down completely, due to earthquakes as the land settles from the mining of natural gas. According to the Dutch government, a maximum of 2.8 billion cubic metres of gas would be extracted from Groningen province between September 2022 and October 2023. After this, the field will be closed in 2023 or 2024. The Groningen natural gas field can produce 25 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Nigeria’s energy transition potential: During Sowore’s speech at the town hall meeting, he said the country needs the right leadership to successfully navigate the energy transition, which has already taken place. According to Sowore, the world has moved on from oil and a lot is being manufactured without petroleum. He believes Nigeria has a lot of potential in using water (hydropower), sunshine (solar), and biomass (animal and human waste) as sources of electricity. He however noted that although the country relies on natural gas for power, Nigeria cannot improve its power supply if transmission and distribution lines are not upgraded, and in some instances, replaced.
Power transmission and distribution challenges: The managing director of the Association of Power Generating Companies (APGC) told Nairametrics in September 2022, that based on available data, power generated is not fully utilized. Power generation data from January to July 2022, shows that the available generation capacity was at 5,614.43 megawatts (MW), average utilized generation was 3,802.09, while unutilized generation was 1,812.34 (10.99%), leading to a N76.93 billion capacity payment loss for the period highlighted.
News continues after this ad
For the record: The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has projected that natural gas is set to become the second-largest fuel in the global energy mix by 2030.
OPEC member countries like Nigeria will lead gas demand growth, as total gas demand rises to 66% in 2045, up from 55% in 2021.
As of Q1/2022, the federal government announced that the value of Nigeria’s proven natural gas reserves of about 206.53 trillion cubic feet (tcf) was over $803.4 trillion.