Nigeria earned N2.8 trillion from exporting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) last year, the highest in six years, on the back of the Russia-Ukraine war, which raised natural gas prices, experts say.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown that Nigeria's LNG sales jumped by 100 percent from N1.4 trillion in 2020 to N2.8 trillion last year.
Recall that the country earned N2.1 trillion from exporting natural gas from January to September 2022, the highest in five years, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.
Gas exported from Nigeria is sold as Liquefied Natural Gas through the Nigeria LNG long-term contracts with countries in Europe and Asia including Portugal.
According to NBS, Nigeria earned N655 billion in the first quarter, N735 billion in the second quarter and N757 billion in the third quarter of this year.
Data sourced from NBS shows that Nigeria's earnings from natural gas rose by 15 percent from the first quarter to the third quarter.
Gas produced in Nigeria is either exported or used domestically for power generation as feedstock for gas-based industries such as petrochemicals and fertiliser production, industrial heating and as fuel for natural gas vehicles.
Experts that discussed with BusinessDay placed the increase in natural gas sales on the Russia/Ukraine war, which spike demand for Nigerian gas from Europe.
Chinedu Onyegbula, an energy sector expert and director at Bullox Resources Limited said that the increase in natural gas sales can be attributed to a greater demand for gas influenced by the Russia/Ukraine crisis.
Onyegbula also said that gas sales are dollar dominated and influenced by market conditions. 'Any increase in gas prices as a result of global demand and realities or the exchange rate affects the revenue expectations.
'Another factor is the increased production from our gas facilities to meet that demand,' Onyegbula said.
According to him, Nigeria continues to see a high demand for its gas both domestically and internationally for export.
He said, 'Some captive gas power plants are coming on stream, as well as grid-connected power plants utilising more gas as their maintenance is being finalised and allowing for more gas to be supplied.
'So the biggest factor that could be influencing this increase would be greater demand domestically and internationally, dollar fluctuations, and increased supply being generated to the market.'
Natural gas is said to be Africa's greatest opportunity as a long-term energy supply solution to help alleviate energy poverty and enhance the quality of life, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa. As a fuel for sustainable development, natural gas can provide accessibility, affordability, and reliability to African nations.