FG moves to utilise 80% of gas being flared

THE PUNCH Newspaper- Okechukwu Nnodim

At least 80 per cent of gas from flaring locations across the country can be viably utilised, the Federal Government has said.

It stated that gas flaring was a tremendous waste that should not be tolerated, especially from a climate change perspective.

The government also stated that gas flaring was a key driver of air pollution in oil-producing communities, with Nigeria accounting for 40 per cent of all gas flared in Africa.

It, however, noted that findings had shown that the country could profitably utilise at least 80 per cent of gas from various flare sites, adding that it was working hard to reduce or halt gas flaring from about 178 sites across the country.

In a document that was made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Friday, which focused on the role of harnessing Nigeria’s flare gas for economic development, the Programme Manager, Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Justice Derefaka, said government had done preliminary groundwork, case studies and economic analysis of various flare gas utilisation options for the country.

He said, “Major highlights from the economic analysis show that harnessing gas from the top 50 flare points would reduce volume of flared gas by 80 per cent, given 2,015 gas flare locations and volumes as the baseline. We also found out that over 178 flare points collectively flare about one billion standard cubic feet of gas.

“It was found that majority of the gas flaring locations (about 65 per cent of them) are onshore (i.e. on land) and at least 80 per cent of gas from the flaring locations can be viably utilised.”

Derefaka noted that although pipelines present the most viable option for transporting gas, scalable, containerised, skid mounted/barge type ‘plug and play’ technologies, virtual pipeline and compressed natural gas trucks would be preferred for security and other reasons.

He said about $3.5bn worth of inward investment was required to achieve the gas flare commercialisation targets by 2020.

He stated that despite the success story of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and its joint venture partners in reducing gas flaring by over 70 per cent in the past decade, the country still flared about 1BCF of gas in 2017, exceeding the about 800 million standard cubic feet per day utilised for power generation and about 450mmscfd utilised in domestic industry.

Derefaka, however, stated the target of the NGFCP was to effectively utilise the flared gas, as about 80 per cent of this volume could be viably put to use.

He said, “The NGFCP was designed as the strategy to implement the policy objectives of the Federal Government for the elimination of gas flares from Nigeria’s oil and gas fields in the near term of two to three years, with potentially enormous multiplier and development outcomes for Nigeria.

“The policy on gas flaring is also encapsulated in the National Gas Policy approved by the Federal Executive Council in June 2017. It is designed as the contribution of the petroleum sector to Nigeria’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement (COP21).”

Derefaka said the programme aimed at eliminating gas flaring through technically and commercially sustainable gas utilisation projects developed by competent third party investors who will be invited to participate in a competitive and transparent bid process.


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