Seplat targets 500 million scfpd gas output by 2017
… Eyes $18.2m yearly from Oben plant
Determined to buoy the national gas output through its ongoing major projects, Seplat Petroleum Development Company has unveiled its plans to hit about 500 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) processing capacity by 2017.
Besides, the indigenous oil independent firm is projecting to earn about $18.2 million yearly from the Oben new Associated Gas compression station, which is also positioned to help achieve its zero gas flare objective by 2016.
The Managing Director, Seplat, Austin Avuru, who told The Guardian about the company’s impact on gas- to-power challenges in Lagos, said Seplat has expanded the existing 90 mmscfd gas plant at Oben to 240 mmscfd by installing two trains of 75mmscfd brand new JT Gas process plant, which is now fully operational.
According to him, the company is currently planning to expand the Oben gas plant further by addition of 3x75mmscfd to achieve a total capacity of 465 mmscfd by third quarter of 2016.
Avuru said: “We saw a future in gas three years ago well before people saw it. Today, we have revamped the existing 120mmscfd and build a new 150mmscfd. Our total processing capacity now stood at about 300mmscfd. We are actually delivering between 250- 280mmscfd into the domestic market. “There will be second phase of our gas project, where we are going to install additional 225mmscfd of processing capacity. So, that is why we said that by the end of 2017, we will have the capacity to process 500mmscfd.
“We are bullish about gas and we think that domestic energy security is critical for this country’s future development and its achievable in the next five years,” he said. Avuru however noted that the current challenges facing the sector rallies around infrastructure deficit and gas pricing, which needs urgent attention from the government to encourage investors and ultimately buoy the sector.
He said Seplat was fortunate to have its facilities situated in the hub of the existing western infrastructure at Oben, “So, it enables us to process and deliver to the domestic market without any extra investment in distribution infrastructure”.
However, he noted that the pipeline that will bring gas from the East to the West and further to the North is currently under development by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), hoping that the facility would ease the infrastructure problem when completed.
On gas pricing, Avuru is optimistic about the ‘improving’ trend, adding that the operators would be more comfortable at a balanced market price of about $3.50 per thousand He said: “Pricing is improving. When we started in 2010, we were at $20 cents and then to 70 cents and further to $1.50. Now, the regulated price is $2.50. Independent customers are saying between $3 and $3.50 will be appropriate, so we are moving closer to a market price, which i think will should be in the region of about $3.50 cents,” he said.