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Olufola  Wusu's picture
Partner Head of Oil and Gas/Intellectual Property Practice Megathos Law Practice

Olufola Wusu is a policy consultant, entrepreneur and attorney, who was part of the team that helped review the National Gas Policy 2016 for the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources in...

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  • Nov 23, 2020
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The use of LNG as a transport fuel is growing. However, demand for LNG as a fuel is sure to rise rapidly, catalysed by the increasingly by the operations of IMO 2020 Regulations mandating strict emissions control for the shipping industry, stringent energy deficit in some parts of Africa, and the oil and gas industry’s ability to reinvent itself as it seeks new markets to serve. To help encourage the rapid and widespread adoption of LNG as a fuel, there is a clear need to ensure stakeholder support for the deployment of LNG Filling Stations to support Natural Gas Vehicles deployment.

Regardless of the uncertainty in the global LNG market, LNG as a fuel may very well be the game changer in Africa’s quest to monetize its abundant gas resources.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 23, 2020

Regardless of the uncertainty in the global LNG market, LNG as a fuel may very well be the game changer in Africa’s quest to monetize its abundant gas resources.

This makes me wonder if the LNG as a transportation fuel is more of a solution in search of a problem than necessarily the best technology for the job-- what are the advantages that LNG has a a transportation fuel over the other options that are out there?

Thanks for sharing and letting me ask the question, Olufola!

Olufola  Wusu's picture
Olufola Wusu on Nov 25, 2020

Thank you Matt!  This is an important question.

A number of countries in Africa suffer from some form of energy scarcity, while the demand for affordable energy keeps growing due a rapidly growing population.

Gas flaring in Africa has been described as not only wasteful, but also inimical to the environment. The push for LNG to monetise gas that is often flared, can help erase the harmful effects of gas flaring while giving many Africans access to affordable energy and fuel for transport. 

As it stands Nigeria has the potential to generate 12,522 megawatts (MW) of electric power from existing plants, but most days is only able to generate around 4,000MW to 5,000 MW which is insufficient.  Some reports say Nigeria needs approximately 180,000MW to  ensure steady power supply. 

The cost of transportation has been said to be a major driver of inflation. For an economy heavily dependent on the transport sector and whose citizens sometimes spend a sizable portion of their income on the cost of transportation, access to cheaper fuel can mean lower transport costs and make a big difference in the cost and quality of living. 

Advantages of LNG as a fuel include the following:

+ Natural gas when frozen turns into LNG and reduces in size, to 1/600 of its original volume, giving clear commercial advantage in terms of ease of transportation and use.

+ LNG is versatile. LNG  is natural gas in a frozen state, you can can receive LNG from a port at point A, transport it to point B. At point B you can  regasify the LNG into natural gas before compressing it into CNG for delivery to the end user. At point C, the end user can liquefy the natural gas into LNG for ease of storage.

+LNG is very cold, giving the advantage of cold energy applications.

+ LNG as a transport fuel will be relatively cheaper, and may at first glance help quite a few African countries pivot away from more expensive imported refined petroleum products.  

+ Stable price compared to imported fuel
+ Lower risk, it is lighter than air
+ In case of leakage, it disperses quickly 
+ Lower CO2 emissions
+ Better combustion for its level of purity
+ Cryogenic tanks store LNG at low pressure
+ Stable and homogeneous quality and composition

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Nov 25, 2020

Appreciate the thorough response! Thanks for the insights

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Bob Meinetz on Nov 30, 2020

"+ LNG as a transport fuel will be relatively cheaper, and may at first glance help quite a few African countries pivot away from more expensive imported refined petroleum products...
+ In case of leakage, it disperses quickly 
+ Lower CO2 emissions..."

LNG doesn't "disperse quickly" when leaked, Olufula. With 83 times the GHG solar absorption factor of CO2 over the course of a century, it's a significant problem.

The estimated 2-3% leakage rate of methane/LNG during production and transport make it a worse carbon polluter than coal.

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