The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria has declared support for the Federal Government plan to increase the use of gas as an alternative to petrol and diesel.

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MOMAN, in a statement, said it “is keying into the autogas space to give Nigerians across the country a cleaner and greener alternative to power their automobiles, homes and other equipment.”

“The idea of deepening the use of gas comes at a very auspicious time as we grapple with increasing petrol prices due to the deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector,” it added.

The Oil Marketers explained that with new policies on alternative energy, the total deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector and the establishment of new mega and modular refineries, Nigeria could quickly develop into the refining hub for West and Central Africa, becoming a net exporter of refined products.

It said the Federal Government had come up with various energy programmes to drive alternative energy development in a bid to reduce the country’s near-total dependence on liquid fuels.

MOMAN said, “Nigeria has an opportunity to go big on alternative energies such as gas and solar energy, and we must all do what we can to ensure that these green alternative energy sources are strategically developed and their usage deepened across the country for the benefit of Nigerians.

“There must be cheaper and cleaner alternatives to petrol and diesel made available to the public especially as full deregulation of the Nigerian petroleum downstream sector kicks in.”

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According to the group, Nigeria has about 202 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves, up from around 187 Tcf late last year, and about 600 Tcf of unproven gas reserves with only about 25 per cent of these reserves currently under development.

It noted that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, came up with the National Gas Expansion Programme in January 2020.

MOMAN said, “The objective of the programme is to reform and implement the promotion of a market structure which would ensure the utilization and development of gas infrastructure, assets and facilities on a common carrier and co-sharing basis.

“The imperative need to develop CNG, LPG and LNG as alternatives to petrol and other fuels has never been more critical, especially with the recovering crude oil prices and the rising demand for refined products as we approach the winter months in Europe.”

According to the group, the Gas value chain is awash with opportunities for new investment, skills development, and enhancement of local public transportation infrastructure.