No going back in converting flared gas to economic advantage – FG
Federal Government has again assured on its promise of harvesting flared gas for economic advantage, expressing concerns that gas flaring in Nigeria is a huge waste of precious resources.
Justice Derefaka, programme manager, Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), office of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, says gas flaring remains a waste of precious natural resource that could drive the economy if well harnessed.
In his lead presentation obtained by BusinessDay at the third Lawyers in Oil and Gas conference, titled: ‘The Impact of Government’s Regulatory Policy and the Road to Sustainable Economic Growth the Lens of the NGFCP,’ he said, “Gas flaring is a tremendous waste that the Federal Government is not willing to tolerate, especially for a climate change perspective.”
The programme officer specifically stated, “Gas flaring accounts for 2 percent of all Green House Gases (GHG) emissions, which are responsible for several ill-health and environmental challenges.”
Giving further insight into the analogy of the conference theme: ‘Nigeria Oil and Gas Regulations – a reflection of the Economy,’ he posited, “In a world where we are under the surging pressure of climate change, we cannot get rid of a precious natural resources and waste it without recourse to turning it around for the growth of the economy.”
Contrary to failed speculations that flared gas is an important part of the global energy transition, the closest ally to renewable, he said.
The UN, it would be noted, has described energy as central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access for energy is all essential.
With concerns of lack of access to power by about 100 million who are note connected to the nation grid, the programme officer argued that time had come for Nigeria to commercialise gas flaring as a way of lifting many out of poverty and economic growth.
More than 16,000 flared sites are in 90 countries globally with many of them in Nigeria.
BusinessDay reports that Nigeria’s deputy minister of petroleum resources has taken a step further to state Federal Government’s position that companies flaring gas may not have their operating licence renewed by 2020, since there are huge economic opportunities for energy conversion as well as notable companies bidding for flared sites for commercial purposes.