Nigeria lost N234bn to gas flaring in 2018 –NNPC

Oil and gas firms operating in the country flared a total of 282.08 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas in 2018, amounting to a potential loss of N234bn.

Data obtained by our correspondent from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Wednesday showed that the volume of gas flared last year fell slightly from 287.59 billion scf in 2017.

The data also revealed that gas supply in the country increased to 2.83 trillion scf last year from 2.79 trillion scf in 2017 and 2.58 trillion scf in 2016.

The firms, including international and indigenous operators, wasted 31.68 billion scf of gas in January; 27.25 billion scf in February; 26.88bn scf in March; 23.06 billion scf in April; 21.20 billion scf in May and 21.66 billion scf in June.

They flared 21.21 billion scf in July; 22.42 billion scf in August; 20.54 billion scf in September; 20.51 billion scf in October; 23.78 billion scf in November and 21.89 billion scf in December.

With the price of natural gas put at $2.70 per 1,000scf as of Wednesday, the 282.08 billion scf flared translates to an estimated loss of $761.62m or N233.77bn (using the official exchange rate of N306.95/dollar).

Out of the total gas supply of 2.83 trillion scf last year, 430.2 billion scf and 1.23 trillion scf were commercialised for the domestic and export markets, respectively, while re-injection, fuel gas and flaring accounted for a total of 1.17 trillion scf.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has said the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme is expected unlock and supply 600,000 metric tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas to about six million homes in Nigeria.

It also said that the NGFCP would generate about 300,000 direct and indirect jobs, adding that the benefit that it would attract to the Nigerian economy in monetary terms was over $3bn.

The Programme Manager, NGFCP, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Justice Derefaka, while explaining the next line of activities for the programme, told on of our correspondents that there had been a lot of interests in the initiative, as over 700 investors had registered.

He said that those who had registered would download the request for participation package in order to submit their statements of qualification to partake in the programme.

He said, “In terms of developmental impact, the NGFCP benefits are huge, ranging from an overall inward investment of around $3bn to $3.5bn; a potential annual revenue/gross domestic product impact of around $1bn/annum.

“The NGFCP could also generate approximately 300,000 direct and indirect jobs and would unlock and supply around 600,000 MT of liquefied petroleum gas product to six million homes in Nigeria.”

President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the NGFCP in October 2016 and the programme aimed at reducing gas flaring by harnessing flare gas to stimulate economic growth, drive investments and provide jobs in the Niger Delta through the utilisation of widely available innovative technologies.

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

Derefaka explained that the programme was also designed as the contribution of the petroleum sector to Nigeria’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement known as COP21.

“It is an approach to eliminate 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,” he stated.

He added, “The third party investors are to access and utilise flared gas that is currently being sent to flare and convert same into flare-gas-to-market-products and demonstrate project development experience and proven technology in commercial application.”
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