The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, said that the country currently possesses the capacity to create about $51b opportunities in the midstream and downstream gas sector, All Africa reported.

Furthermore, the country’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, announced that Nigeria  plans to establish an independent agency to control the gas industry. He added that the government would continue to be the policy maker, however the new authority “will be responsible for the economic, competition, technical, and safety regulation of the gas sector and shall have licensing, investigative, monitoring and dispute resolution powers,” accordingly Ecofin Agency.

The federal government had completed plans to turn the country into an attractive gas-based industrial nation with a primary focus on meeting local gas demands as well as developing a significant presence in the international market. Government is set to introduce a policy that will ensure a strong and rapidly growing liquified petroleum gas (LPG) market in the country, in addition to setting a target to attain 5m tons gas utilization until 2021.

Nigeria which has the world’s ninth-largest proven gas reserves, at 187Tcf, has lost half of it to flaring and re-injection. In the past few months the country has witnessed gas shortages due to militant attacks on gas and oil installations in the southern Niger Delta oil region.