| BONNY, Nigeria March 8
BONNY, Nigeria March 8 Nigeria Liquefied Natural
Gas Company (NLNG) could unlock three times as much gas as the
country's proven reserves and create hundreds of thousands of
jobs if it goes ahead with a proposed expansion plan, it said on
NLNG, often cited as a successful public private
partnership, is a venture between state-owned Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Royal Dutch Shell, Total
and Eni to produce liquefied natural gas
(LNG) for export.
It currently operates six trains -- liquefaction and
purification facilities - and CEO Tony Attah said the company
was ready to add another two trains, although he did not say
whether a final decision had been taken.
Building Trains 7 and 8 would require total investment of
$25 billion, he said.
Nigeria has the world's ninth largest proven gas reserves,
at 187 trillion cubic feet (tcf), and Attah said NLNG estimated
"scope for reserves of 600 tcf" if the company expands.
"The potential investment that will come in is about $25
billion if Train 7 and 8 happen, to unlock the 600 tcf gas with
(the creation of) 800,000 jobs," Attah told a press briefing.
NLNG was ready in principle to go ahead, he said.
"Technology is here, people are here and the partners are
already lining up."
However, Attah also warned that Train 7 needed assurances
around supply because the six existing facilities were not full
on an annual basis. "We need a billion dollars worth of
investment upstream to keep trains 1 to 6 up," he said.
NLNG, which has 23 LNG carriers, has generated $85 billion
in 17 years with assets of more than $13 billion.
OPEC member Nigeria, is reeling from low oil prices and
militant attacks on energy facilities in its Niger Delta energy
hub, saw its economy shrink 1.5 percent in 2016 - its first
full-year contraction in 25 years.
(Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Susan Fenton)