ABUJA Oct 13 Nigerian lawmakers are looking to
amend the 1989 law that set up the Nigeria LNG (NLNG)
partnership, potentially putting billions of dollars of
investment at risk, its chief executive said on Thursday.
NLNG, often touted 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.
CEO Tony Attah said lawmakers in Nigeria's lower house were
seeking to cancel government guarantees which helped unlock
private investment in NLNG as well as introduce levies paid by
exploration firms equivalent to some 3 percent its total budget.
He said the LNG produced by NLNG destined for Europe and
Asia was exempt from the levy under the 1989 act and that the
parliamentary amendment had gone for a public hearing.
NLNG is also at the final stage of deciding whether to
invest in a project known as Train 7 which would boost its LNG
exports to 30 million tonnes from 22 million tonnes at a cost of
about $12 billion, Attah said.
"Train 7 will not happen if we don't have the NLNG act as it
is today. The amendments as proposed will not deliver value,
they will erode value, they will not make NLNG grow," he told
Reuters in an interview in Abuja.
Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, is facing its worst
recession in more than 20 years after low oil prices slashed
government revenues and hit the currency, leaving the state
struggling to find ways to fund its record 2016 budget.
NLNG, which has 23 LNG carriers, has generated $85 billion
in 17 years with assets of more than $13 billion.
(Editing by David Clarke)