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Senate moves to revive Brass LNG project, invites NNPC management for briefing

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Following a motion moved by Senator Degi-Eremienyo Biobarakuma, the Nigerian Senate has resolved to invite the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Brass LNG to brief Senate Committee on gas resources on the extent of the implementation of the project.

TheNewsGuru (TNG) reports Brass LNG was a proposed LNG terminal in Bayelsa State, Nigeria that no development updates have come from since 2017, with the project presumed to be have been shelved.

In October 2003, the NNPC, U.S. firms Chevron and ConocoPhillips, and Italian firm Eni signed an agreement to create Brass LNG Limited.

In November 2004, Brass LNG Limited awarded a construction contract to Bechtel to build a two-train, 10 million metric tons per year (mtpa) liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Nigeria’s Bayelsa state.

The plan was for construction to begin in Q3 2006.

Since then, a number of different companies have rotated in & out of the project. Chevron left in 2006, while Total joined in 2008. ConocoPhillips pulled out of the project in 2014, as part of their overall withdrawal from Nigeria, leaving NNPC, Eni, and Total as the participating companies.

Originally, the project was supposed to cost around $8.5 billion; however, some officials put the cost upward between $15 billion and $20 billion.

In January 2017, after lying dormant for years, the project was rekindled following a meeting in London. $1 billion had already been spent on the project as of that date, but no final investment decision (FID) had been signed.

As of March 2017, the project’s sponsors needed to find a new company to take on ConocoPhillips’s share. In June 2017, NNPC said that the project’s sponsors were trying to redesign the project and find a market for the LNG; these tasks would need to be completed before an FID could be signed.

As of June 15, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, who campaigned on a platform of bringing development and investment to the region, was trying to move forward with the proposed Brass LNG plans by working with the Federal government to expedite the process.

Keep Naira clean

According to the International Gas Union’s World LNG 2017 report, Nigeria was the fourth largest LNG exporter by share after Qatar, Australia, and Malaysia between 2015 and 2016.

Since its re-announcement in 2017, the project has been stalled by a lack of final investment. The project was to be built by the NNPC, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Eni Group, but ConocoPhillips and Chevron have since withdrawn from the project. There have been no development updates since 2017 and it is presumed to be shelved.

On Tuesday during Senate plenary, the motion on the need to ensure immediate revival of the Brass LNG Project in Brass Island, Bayelsa State was moved by Senator Degi-Eremienyo, and was supported and seconded by Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.

The Senate commended the Federal Government for the conceptualization, design and commencement of work since 2004; and urged the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for reputable oil and gas companies to take over the 17% shares each previously owned by ConocoPhillips and Total.

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to take necessary steps to ensure the revival of the Brass LNG.

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