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Natural gas in Nigeria

Natural gas in Nigeria

The Federal Republic of Nigeria is located in West Africa in the Guinea Bay and has a total area of ​​924,000 km2. It divides the border of 4,047 kilometers from Benin, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and the coastline is approximately 850 km. Nigeria is the most populated country in continent of Africa. There is also a lot of natural gas in Nigeria.

Nigeria is the 12th largest oil producer in the world and also has the largest natural gas reserves on the continent. The capital-intensive oil sector accounts for 20 percent of gross domestic product, 95 percent of foreign currency and about 65 percent of economical revenues. Natural gas reserves are more than 5 trillion cubic meters and several times more than crude oil reserves. The largest natural gas operator is Nigeria LNG Limited, which began exploration and manufacturing already in 1999. Many Nigerian oil fields, holding primary gas capsules, are soaked and considerable efforts are being made to use excess gas reserves and to prevent flaring.

Natural gas in Nigeria

Other important products and services in Nigeria

In addition to oil and gas, the Federal Republic of Nigeria also has many natural resources that include zinc, coal, gold, tin, bauxite, limestone, niobium, iron ore and lead. The Nigerian economy also has well-developed financial, legal, communications, transport and Nigerian stock exchanges, the second largest in Africa. Later years there has also been an upswing in online services, especially within entertainment and payments. Online casino in Nigeria is on the upswing as well as online payment services and mobile payments. But also telecom, internet service providers and online shopping is growing very fast in Nigeria at the moment.

The dependence of natural resources will decrease in Nigeria, with new payment services and online entertainments, such as online casinos, on the rise. We can of course expect that the natural resources will continue to play an important role of the Nigerian export, but that ecommerce and online services will even out the vast differences creating great opportunities for Nigeria to decrease their reliance on export. Natural gas in Nigeria will of course be an important source of export also going forward.

Nigerian gas export

Nigeria’s role as an important player in the natural gas industry depends on their large base of proven natural gas reserves and their importance as an exporter of natural gas. From 2014, Nigeria had 5,111 billion cubic meters in reserves, but only produces approximately 44 billion cubic meters. Hence, they are only the 19th largest producer of gas, but holds the 9th largest reserve. Nigeria will increase their natural gas production coming years becoming an even stronger player on the international energy market.

Despite not utilizing all of their reserves Nigeria is still one of the top exporters of natural gas in the world. Nigeria is expected to export almost 30 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas to almost all continents in the world in 2018. Where Southeast Asia and Japan is the main importer of Nigerian liquefied natural gas tanking more than half of the yearly export, with Japan being the biggest sole importer of Nigerian natural gas. Nigeria also exporting natural gas in the West African Gas Pipeline.

Where Does Natural Gas Come From?

natural gas pipesNatural gas is something that has been around for millions of years. It is underneath the core of the earth and before it was understood, it created a intense mystery in civilisation.

How Does it Work

Natural gas is hydrocarbon gas mixture. It consists of methane but also has some amounts of higher alkanes and a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium can also be found.

Decomposing plant and animal matter gets exposed to intense heat and pressure from rocks under the surface of the earth. It is a procedure that takes over millions of years. The energy that the plants stored originally, which it obtained from the sun, is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas. All this pressure, heat and millions of years turned the natural material into coal, petroleum and natural gas.

The non renewable resource (fossil fuel) is used as a energy source. Mainly for heating, cooking and the generation of electricity. It is also used in the manufacturing for plastics and is used in other important products such as paints, fertilisers, medicines, and antifreeze. Natural gas is also used for fuel for vehicles.

Because it produces fewer undesirable bi-products per unit than coal or petroleum, it is described as ‘clean burning’. All fossil fuels emit carbon dioxide, but natural gas emits about half the rate of coal per kilowatt hour of electricity generated which makes it more energy efficient.

The stats show that in 2013, a coal burning power plant was about 33% efficient in converting heat energy into electricity whilst a gas-fired plant was 42% efficient. In natural gas combined-cycle power plants, generation may be at 60% efficient.

History

It has been around for millions of years and before it was understood, it had a mysterious element to it. When lighting struck, it would clash with the gas that seeped from below the earth’s surface which resulted in fires and great mystery.

The Chinese civilisation was the first to create a system to transport the gas in 500BC. They created crude pipelines made from bamboo shoots. The natural gas was used to boil sea water to separate the salt so that it was possible to consume as drinking water.

In 1626 French explorers found natural gas in America after they noticed that the Native Americans ignited gases that seeped from Lake Erie. In 1785, more than 100 years later, it was commercialised in Britain, using it to fuel streetlights and lighthouses.

In 1821, William Hart lead a mission to obtain natural gas in New York. He started the first American natural gas company (Fredonia Gas Light Company) and is hailed a pioneer and referred to as ‘The Father of Natural Gas’.

After World War ll the industry boomed. Thousands of miles of natural gas pipelines were constructed in the 1960’s in America. From there the industry grew tremendously.

Natural Gas Sources

In the US, most natural gas is retrieved through a ‘horse head’ pump. It moves up and down and lifts a rod in and out of a well bore. This brings the gas to the surface.

Fracking is a other technique where tiny cracks are created in the rocks. It opens a path for the gas to come to the surface.

The other method is the least common of them all. It uses natural pressure of the underground reservoir and forces the gas through the rocks. A series of pipes and valves on the surface then control the flow of the gas.

Countries where you will find the most natural gas are:

Russia

Iran

Qatar

Turkmenistan

United States of America

Saudi Arabia

Iraq

Storage and Transportation

Natural gas has a very low density which makes it difficult to store and transport. Natural gas pipelines are impractical across oceans because the fraction in the pipelines generate heat and natural gas need to stay cooled. Because of the trade costs, natural gas markets are much less integrated globally which causes massive price differences across different countries. The gas pipeline network is already very dense in Western Europe and new networks are in planning or already underway in Eastern Europe and also between Russia, Northern Africa and Near East.

Safety Concerns

Like in any industry there are safety risks that include the production procedure, fracking, difficulties with odour detection, risks of explosion and risk of carbon monoxide inhalation. But there are incredibly strict laws to protect the wellbeing and safety of people as well as the planet. Every year governments and environmentalist work on better ideas to enhance the procedures and safety of this ‘clean burning’ energy source.