NIGERIA: Power cut hits ministers at the energy conference! Irony defined.

NEWS ANALYSIS: Nigeria hopes its gas can keep the lights on

ABUJA — The first power cut to hit the luxury hotel venue of this week’s energy conference here struck the Nigerian oil minister’s speech on gas supply reforms with uncanny accuracy.

“The gas masterplan aims to develop infrastructure delivery for the domestic market …,” Diezani Alison-Madueke was saying — before a blackout took out the auditorium lights and speakers.

Muted laughter followed, then a lone heckle.

“Well, this is why we need these major gas infrastructure improvements,” her barely audible voice continued, just before the diesel generator kicked in and light returned.

Nigeria’s desperate need for power could well be the catalyst that opens up its proven gas reserves of about 180-trillion standard cubic feet (scf), the world’s ninth biggest, after Africa’s biggest energy producer missed out on the last decade’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom.

“Most people are still only here for the oil, yet Nigeria is sitting on a gas canister,” said an oil industry executive.Industry sources put the real quantity at 500-trillion scf.For 50 years Nigeria used its petroleum fields almost exclusively as a source of crude oil for export.”Gas was just this poisonous thing associated with the oil,” Abiye Membere, head of exploration and production at the state-run Nigeria National […]

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