BY SUNNY CHUBA NWACHUKWU
The global energy equation is dramatically changing pace along the sources of the supply chain to the European high-end energy market, which is highly attractive for oil and natural gas (LNG) sales. This sudden change and rapid repositioning in the global energy market happened as a result of the reaction of most Western countries; in particular the European Union, which recently decided to replace two-thirds of Russian gas this year (which is seen as an exceptional opportunity in the gas market), in its imposition of various forms of trade embargoes against the Kremlin , as well as other economic sanctions against Russia, considered the aggressive nation.
Russia is widely known around the world as a major force and a key supplier of oil and natural gas to the West for home heating and other uses. It is the largest global gas exporter in the world. For example, in 2021, Russia’s total gas exports included the 45% exported to the European Union, which represents almost 40% of the bloc’s total gas consumption in 2021. Now, with the sufficient flexibility required by EU Member States to ensure security of energy supply in European gas infrastructure, the collaboration touted and negotiated by some European countries for Nigeria’s gas resources should be exploited and aggressively pursued. Especially since the EU wants to avoid a disaster scenario if Russia decides to retaliate and cut its gas pipeline to the West.
Current efforts by Nigeria in proposing, together with Morocco, to construct the world’s largest offshore gas pipeline are commendable for the country’s natural gas export business; especially in this difficult period of the national economy when inflation is on the rise. At least the revenue generated would go a long way to cushioning the effects of the falling local exchange rate and the stress of the country’s rampant external borrowing.
With national natural gas reserves of approximately 206.53 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of proven gas, valued at over $803.4 trillion, plus an upside potential of 600 TCF of gas, Nigeria is the largest in Africa, and also among the best in the world. 10 in gas fields. This, of course, is also a plus for the ongoing $13 billion tri-partite Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline project to Europe through Nigeria, Niger and Algeria. The great opportunity that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict presents for gas exports as a “low hanging fruit” should not be misused at all to enter this attractive energy supply market at this time.
Natural gas, despite being a fossil fuel resource, is classified as a clean energy compatible with climate change – by its demonstrably tested functional and physical characteristics, specifically addressed on the merits of environmental impact – as part of the ongoing global energy mix transition program which aggressively professes “renewable energy”. resource-based energy. This is in light of the current pursuit of global management of green energy solutions for this contemporary industrial fourth generation global economy.
However, many academic postulates and societal debates are led to call into question the scientific integrity (being non-renewable) of this mineral resource which is naturally constituted as a hydrocarbon with composite carbon chains which is destined to emit and contribute to greenhouse gases (GHGs) to the stratosphere to aggravate the global warming effect through its carbon emissions. Crucial in this area however, whether the timeline for net zero carbon emissions is 2030 or beyond, with the commitment to achieve this under the Paris Agreement, economic considerations and interests (gains and benefits to different economies) should take precedence, for now, as we optimize the sustainability of the earth. There should therefore be a certain flexibility in relation to its economic dimension and reality.
The economic consideration of global commercial activities and of all international trade requires adequate attention as a critical factor for the future sustainable growth of the world and the trend dynamics of social progress in the 21st century. This aspect is clearly evidenced by the continued supply of Russian oil and gas to the standard of living and way of life of EU nations, as the energy supply sector is essential for the sustainable existence of humans on earth.
In the meantime, as the global agenda to transition renewable energy from fossil fuels gains momentum among energy investors, Nigeria should make hay and quickly seize the available energy supply opportunity to harness the wealth of its abundant natural gas endowment, through the conversion of gas fields into cash; from export revenue from gas sales to targeted foreign customers.
This should be done urgently, to avoid delays in these potential exploits. The renewable energy business is imminent, and without a doubt, it is the energy solution of the future.