Africa Oil & Gas: Nigeria LNG closes in on Train 7 gas supplies

Nigeria LNG (NLNG) is closing in on confirming gas supply volumes to feed its planned $7 billion Train 7 liquefied natural gas expansion project on Bonny Island, Rivers State.

The group — which includes Shell, Total, Eni and state player Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) — could still make a final investment decision on the up to 8 million tonnes per annum scheme by the end of this year.

“We have worked actively with our shareholder suppliers in terms of the guarantee supply of Train 7, and also with the resources owner, which is the government through NNPC,” NLNG chief executive Tony Attah said on the sidelines of the Gastech conference in Barcelona this week.

“We are just rounding up in terms of finalising the data book on the supply. The data book will be signed off in the next few weeks, so that way we will know exactly where all the volumes anticipated for Train 7 will come from.”

NLNG is running a dual front-end engineering and design contest for Train 7, which will involve two trains, one of 3 million tpa and the other of 4.5 million tpa.

It is envisaged that volumes from the two together could be upgraded at a later date from 7.5 million tpa to 8 million tpa.

The two consortia conducting the competing FEED studies are the B7 joint venture comprising KBR, JGC and TechnipFMC, and the SDC consortia of Saipem, Chiyoda and Daewoo.

“We have made good progress with the FEED. We look forward to them returning on the FEED outcome but in the end it will be more about the lump sum that they will have to beat for the EPC.”

NLNG has already said that it is looking for around $7 billion in financing for Train 7, with some $2 billion to go on the upstream and $5 billion on the midstream work.

Attah has previously said project sanction could be as early as the end of this year, with the FEED responses due in November or December.

“I am not ruling out anything in a hurry, because I still have three or four months, it depends on what they come back with,” he said.

“We have a gateway when we will engage with them in terms of their progress.”

Train 7 is in effect a re-working of a project called Seven Plus that was shelved 10 years ago and that called for two new trains of around 8 million tpa each.

That project progressed to the extent that sale and purchase agreements (SPA) were agreed with offtakers, which remain in place.

“They are still valid, so in terms of volume uptake we are not struggling because we have guaranteed uptake on the back of the existing SPAs,” Attah said.

“But will we take a second look at those SPAs? Of course, we have to keep it live. But it is one of the conditions precedent that we have to meet in terms of sorting out the SPAs, but it will be with the same components as we see it.”

Attah said he does not see any bumps in the road for Train 7 from the upcoming presidential elections in Nigeria next year.

NNPC holds 49% in NLNG, with Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell on 25.6%, French supermajor Total on 15% and Italian major Eni on 10.4%.

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