Nigeria has pre- qualified15 companies as core investors in the exploration and production of its natural gas reserves in furtherance of its evolving oil and gas policy Shipping Position Weekly recalls that an initial list of 48 oil and gas firms had signified interests in the lucrative gas sector development programme. Nigeria’s gas deposits are the seventh largest in the world.
With an estimated gas reserves of about 180 trillion cubit feet is largely untapped, but the lucky companies are expected to work with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)Shedding light on the emergence of the 15 companies, Mr of Petroleum, Mr Odion Ajumogobia explained that “out of the 48 companies that applied and made expressions of interest, we did an evaluation based on the financial capacity in light of the global financial meltdown and know how,”
“These were the two main criteria from which we selected the 15 core investors,” Ajumogobia told Reuters in an interview.He however said that the choice of 15 companies did not foreclose participation by any of the remaining 33 firms saying that there were chances for them to play other roles as minority stakeholders. He added that the successful ones have already been requested to forward details of the proposals for further evaluation. He however refused to disclose the identities saying it was unethical to do so. “Among those core investors are some of the international oil companies (IOCs) … The 15 firms have been requested to send in details of their proposals,” he said.