Gas Flaring: Nigeria Remains In 7th Position 4 Years To Zero Flare

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Despite several assurances, there are strong indications that Nigeria would again miss the 2025 deadline set to end gas flaring having missed set deadlines seven times.

The country is currently seventh highest in the world in gas flaring, a position it has held in the last nine years.

However, managing director, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, Tony Attah, said Nigeria had improved its position from the number two position it occupied 15 years ago.

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The country is currently losing over $2.5 billion yearly because of severe gas flaring from 178 flare sites nationwide, a development that is expected to hit $9 trillion in the next 10 years, according to a report by Africa Energy Portal.

Meanwhile, the NNLG said it had remitted over $110 billion to the federation account since 1999.

Managing director of the company, Attah made disclosed this in Abuja yesterday during the Sales and Purchase Agreement for domestic supply of LNG.

He said its six-train plant had generated more than $110 billion in revenue since it began operation in 1999.

Equally, the Nigeria LNG has paid about $18 billion as dividends to the federal government of Nigeria through the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)’s 49 per cent shareholding and equivalent amount as dividend to the other three shareholders in the same time period.

“We have also paid about $15 billion for feed gas purchases to the federal government of Nigeria through its shareholding in NNPC and about USD9 billion in taxes,” he said also.

Still on gas flaring, Nigeria has missed out on ending gas flaring for at least seven occasions since 1979. The country is now targeting 2025 to end the environmentally unfriendly, health-damaging and resource-losing act.

NOSDRA, a government-run satellite tracker, said that 1.8 billion standard cubic feet (scf) per day of gas was flared in the last nine years, one that should ordinarily attract about $3.6billion in penalty, little of which was paid.

The volume has generated 95.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. The flared gas is valued at $6.3 billion and it could generate 179.9 thousand GWh, data from NOSDRA showed.

In 2020 alone, natural gas valued at $1.24billion was burned by oil companies, one which could generate the annual electricity use of 804 million Nigerian citizens, according to the tracker.

According to the World Bank’s 2020 Global Gas Flaring Tracker, a leading global and independent indicator of gas flaring, Nigeria is the seventh-largest gas-flaring country globally. The country is surpassed only by Russia, Iraq, Iran, the United States, Algeria and Venezuela.

All seven countries have continued to light up the global map for nine years running.

While they have together produced some 40 per cent of the world’s annual oil production, they have also accounted for roughly two-thirds of global gas flaring, the report showed.

The move to extinguish all flares by 1979 (under the Associated Gas Re-injection Act of 1979) could not be met though, and in 1984, when it became illegal, was set. When the new date failed, 2004 became the next target and then the Nigeria Gas Master plan of 2008.

By 2016, the federal government again extended the deadline to end gas flaring to 2020. Another challenge greeted the country and the world over: novel coronavirus.

Earlier this year, state petroleum minister Timipre Sylva said that the government is now committed to end gas flaring by 2025.

The country, he said, has “actually reduced gas flaring significantly to a very minimal level of eight per cent. If you all recall, last year the ministry of petroleum started what we call the National Gas Expansion Programme and we declared 2020 as the year of gas.

“At the beginning of this year, we declared 2021, the beginning of the gas decade. We believe that with all the programmes we have in place, we are on course to achieve complete elimination of gas flaring by 2025.”

NLNG also supplied about 370,000 metric tonnes (MT) of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to the domestic market in 2020.

Attah, who was part of a panel session at the ongoing 2021 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), yesterday in Abuja, said the consumption of the domestic LPG market was more than one million MT in 2020, adding that the NLNG contribution was about 40 per cent.

He noted that the NLNG was also increasing its supply to the domestic market from 350,000MT annually to 450,000MT to meet the growing consumption demand.

According to him, gas has a pivotal role to play in Nigeria’s socio-economic development as the world moves toward energy transition and renewables.

Attah said with 203TCF of proven gas reserves, Nigeria needs to optimise its resources for national development, adding that this was one of the mandate of the NLNG.

Attah added that the country would continue to work toward reducing its carbon emissions.

“Cleaner energy is a big deal to us at NLNG. More than 100,000 people die annually as a result of inhalation of exhaustive waste and they are mostly women and children.

“So, we want to support the government to bring cleaner energy to Nigerians,” Attah said.

Also, Huub Stokman, chief executive, OVH Energy Marketing Ltd., expressed optimism that the Petroleum Industry Bill would be passed soon by the National Assembly.

Stokman said an effective legislative framework was needed to attract investments to Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and create value across the value chain.

He lauded the federal government for declaration of the year 2021 to 2030 as the Decade of Gas.

Stokman said OVH Energy was working with other stakeholders to bring compressed natural gas to its customers.

On his part, Mr Sarki Auwalu, Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), called for more collaboration among stakeholders in the industry.

Auwalu said competitiveness, security, reliability and sanctity of contracts were key to making Nigeria attractive for investors.

He added that the DPR would continue to create an enabling environment for their businesses to thrive.

Earlier, the minister of state for petroleum resources, Sylva, in a short address, said the NIPS was a platform to discuss and find in-country solutions to challenges bedeviling the industry.

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