WASTE INTO WEALTH

Nigeria 2019 | GAS & POWER | INTERVIEW

As the country's gas sector develops a clearer and more consistent sectorial policy, investors have been more willing to participate in expanding operations from the ground up.

Charles Osezua
BIOGRAPHY
A Nigerian gas engineer with a BSc in natural gas engineering from the Texas A&M University and an MSc in engineering and business administration and international law, Charles Osezua championed a number of the early efforts to develop Nigeria’s gas policies. With 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, he has advised the highest levels of government and industry on technical and policy issues. He has been, among others, Special Assistant to the Head of State on oil and gas matters, Technical Adviser to the Chairman of the NNPC Board, and a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Board of the Nigerian LNG. A former president of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), he is also a member of the Global Gas Policy Council of the International Gas Union (IGU).

Can you tell us about the core activities of Owel-Linkso?

Our main activities can be classified into two major areas: the gas sector, where we pioneered the first gas distribution company in Nigeria, and the service sector, where we provide a number of engineering and technical services to the oil and gas industry. We started our gas infrastructural development from the distribution end through Gaslink, which we promoted and managed as part of Owel-Linkso Group, until we did a share swap with Oando. We have since moved into the mid-stream with a view to capturing gas at the flare and process and fraction it for distribution, thus creating a vertically integrated operation for gas production and distribution. Consequently, we created two companies: City Gas, which is purely for gas distribution and includes LPG and Gas Train, is operating its first gas processing plant in Delta State and is probably the only independent gas processing company in Nigeria. These infrastructural development initiatives have been supported by our in-house engineering and project management capabilities. We want to develop more gas plants and infrastructure to remain relevant and significant in the sector, while extending services to more companies.

What types of services do you provide?

We offer engineering, project management, inspection, and certification services through Linkso Nigeria Limited, which has been involved in all major gas projects in the country. Beginning with the Nigeria LNG, we project-managed the development of the 1bcf/d Soku gas plant. We also managed the West African Gas Pipeline and today are managing the Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline. We are not EPC contractors, as it is not our core business, but we do undertake engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM), while we outsource the actual construction and installation of equipment. This we have done a number of times, installing gas plants for clients, including multinationals who, satisfied with our services, choose us to guarantee their deliveries. In all the areas related to gas, we have been involved from conception to the development and operation.

What is your involvement with LNG?

We are not involved in LNG, though we are interested in it. Currently, we capture gas at the flare and turn waste into wealth. We process gas that would have been flared and produce four products: condensate, which is naphtha; LPG, which is household cooking gas; propane, which we sell to industrial and commercial users or blend with butane as domestic gas; and a clean lean gas, which is piped by the producer to power plants, CNG, and mini-LNG plant operators. In the future, we see opportunities for engaging in the LNG space, which we are still studying and intend to take advantage of.

Do you see a great deal of activity and investment coming in gas infrastructure in Nigeria?

Yes, it is inevitable. 30 years ago, we started talking about Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK), and if we had gone ahead with the plan, that pipeline would have been commissioned in 1992. However, the politics and policies of the time slowed down gas development. But now, driven by the demand for power, politics is beginning to give way to rational policies leading toward a willing seller and buyer market. Thus, with policy clarity and consistency and the right price and economics, investors are more willing to participate. Investors will invest if they are sure the contract and commercial environment can be trusted.