A step for attaining sufficiency in domestic gas supply was taken by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday.
The corporation took the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the 4.3 trillion cubic feet Assa North/Ohaji South Fields development.
The field located in oil mining lease (OML 21) is operated by NNPC and its Joint Venture partners, namely Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Total Exploration and Production Nigeria (TEPNG) and Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, said the project, when fully developed, would add about 600 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd) to the national gas grid.
The field can expand to about 1.2 billion cubic feet per day, with another 197 million barrel (mmstb) of condensate realised.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, described the Assa project as a critical gas supply hub in Nigeria's burgeoning gas-infrastructure network designed to provide the linkage between the Eastern, Western and Northern gas pipeline system.
Mr Baru was represented at the event by NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Bello Rabiu.
He said the successful completion of the multi-faceted project would depend on some critical success factors and enablers.
These include synergy and teamwork between NNPC and all the key stakeholders.
The signing the FID on the ANOH Project is coming more than 14 years since negotiations began.
He said the corporation and its JV partners have worked on all the issues and have developed a sustainable strategy to develop the considerable gas resources in Assa North-Ohaji South Fields.
The NNPC, Shell, Total and Nigeria Agip project teams and other critical stakeholders will enter into the next major phase of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of this project.
Mr Baru said the NNPC would continue to leverage on available expertise and capital from its global outreach to accelerate and deliver on first gas from the project between the last quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.
To realise this objective, NNPC engaged two world-class project management consultants (DeltaAfrik/Worley Parson & Crestech/Penspen) who will work with NNPC JV Partners and other stakeholders to achieve set project deliverables.
Also, NNPC Project Management Teams are expected to strengthen oversight functions by ensuring prompt decision making and timely approvals.
The Managing Director SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, said as operators of the project, Shell was committed to the successful implementation of the project.
Mr Osagie said the project would offer opportunities for Nigerian firms to benefit from engineering, procurement and construction contracts.
He announced the inauguration of boards to administer the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) for the two clusters to the tune of N1 billion for developmental projects within the host communities for the next five years.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of TEPN, Nicholas Terraz, and Lorenzo Fiorillo, MD, NAOC, also aligned their companies with the NNPC's aspiration of ensuring timely completion of the project.