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Shell threatens NLNG, floats rival gas firm

Shell threatens NLNG, floats rival gas firm

A major survival threat may hit the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) as a major oil giant in Nigeria, Shell, announced putting finishing touches to a massive gas project, Flow LNG (FLNG) currently on a test run stage.

Shell on Wednesday, in London, disclosed that the project, which will fully take off on February 2017, is sited in Western Australia.

But experts have expressed fears of a possible threat from FLNG on Nigeria’s dream of sustaining resources raked in from its NLNG.

Said Christopher Ayuba, a major petroleum product marketer, “Shell’s going all out to float another natural gas company despite its interest in Nigeria will send a lot of messages down the line, especially within the management of NLNG..

“It should not also be forgotten that Nigeria is still tinkering on the possibility of divesting some of its equity-shares in the company and the targeted buyers of such shares are the same international investors, who might be more inclined to patronising the Shell project in Australia, believed to be a safer haven for investment than Nigeria.”

Read also: ExxonMobil to divest 60% equity stake in Mobil Nigeria

However, an official of NLNG allayed fear that the new gas project portends any threat to Nigeria, adding that the world will still be running short of supply of the product, despite multiplicity of natural gas companies springing up in parts of the world.

He said NLNG management had not been briefed on whether Shell’s interest in NLNG will be affected by the development.

Shell spokesman while briefing the media put it this way: “The liquefied natural gas industry is reaching a new phase of development with production capacity starting with estimated 70 million tonnes in 2017, to grow to 87 million tonnes by 2018.”

But it is learnt that the NLNG has recently increased its yearly production to about 30 million tonnes, and the fear that while output from the new Shell’s gas firm will be more than twice what Nigeria is putting out, the country will also be competing with a firm that has all it takes to take over the Europe and Asia markets,

Presentation highlights of the new project, include updating on Australia’s future production plan for liquefied natural gas, to enhance productivity, the FLNG will use modern technology for development of the projects.

By Emma Eke…..

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