The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, said Nigeria accidently doubled its gas reserve. Yet, it was looking for oil.
On June 27, Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum of Nigeria told the News Agency of Nigeria that the country accidentally found 206 trillion cubic feet of gas, or 5,800 cubic kilometers (km3), while it was looking for crude oil.
The Minister further explained that the discovery was on top of the 206 trillion cubic feet Nigeria already had.
Estimates of gas reserves vary and are yet to be further confirmed. But the discovery could practically doubled the country’s reserves. In 2019, British Petroleum’s statistical review of world energy estimated at 190 tcf (5,600 km3) the quantity of proven reserve in the country.
Nigeria wants to diversify its production of energy
With about 3% of the gas worldwide, Nigeria is far behind Russia’s 20% share of worldwide gas reserve. But the West-African country had one of the 10 largest reserves of natural gas in the world and could reach the top 5 with the serendipitous discovery.
Oil is the primary resource of Nigeria’s energy sector, accounting for 9% of the gross domestic product and the vast majority of the state revenue thanks to trade export, notably to Europe and India. But the country has been willing to diversify its production with natural gas, considered as an intermediary energy source in western countries for heating and electricity production, between fossil fuel and renewable energy. In 10 years, Nigeria doubled its production of gas. Most of the production of oil and gas is dedicated to trade export.
Last year, Nigeria authorities talked about gas like a large opportunity to tap for the next decade.
- How Nigeria ‘accidentally’ discovered 206trn cubic feet gas reserve, News agency of Nigeria, June 2021, Free access
- Statistical Review of World Energy, British Petroleum, 2020, Free access