Amid the global push towards transition to greener energy sources, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Philip Mshelbila, has said that natural gas will remain a key energy source to the world in the next 20 to 30 years.
Oil and gas is said to be the major emitters of carbon. Reducing global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to net zero by 2050 is consistent with global efforts to limit the long-term increase in average global temperatures to 1.5˚C.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has outlined some of the measures that would be important to reach net-zero. These include: no approvals of new oil and gas field development and no new coal mines or mine extensions by this year; electric vehicles reaching 60 percent of global car sales by 2030; and nearly 70 percent of global electricity generation produced from solar and wind by 2050.
This and other stringent global policies have led to under-investments in oil and gas projects, and made access to credit very difficult.
As a result, there is fear that oil and gas may soon become less relevant in the global energy mix. This will affect oil producing countries, especially Nigeria where oil and gas account for about 70 percent of its revenue and about 90 percent of its foreign exchange earnings.
Even though there is evidence from so many adverse climate occurrences such as floods, desertification, rising water levels, record high temperatures, that there is clearly a global climate crisis, developing countries like Nigeria have raised concerns regarding the hasty approach to transition to greener energy sources.
Mshelbila noted that gas will continue to play critical role in the global energy mix. He stated the efforts being made by the gas industry to reduce carbon emission, adding that there is a need for other industries outside of gas to also cut down on their emissions.
“We are quite confident that over the next 20 to 30 years, natural gas will continue to play a vital role as a major source of energy to the world,” Mshelbila said at the World LNG Summit and Awards in Athens, Greece.
He added, “As the gas industry works towards decarbonizing its value chain, we must encourage others outside our chain, to also reduce their emissions.”
Despite having about 209 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of proven gas reserves and about 600 tcf of unproven gas reserves, thevNLNG boss said that there is big underserved domestic demand for gas in Nigeria.