• Monday, April 22, 2024
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N242bn lost to gas flaring in 9 months


Nigeria has recorded a N242 billion loss in the first nine months of 2013 due to gas flaring according to findings made by BusinessDay Research & Intelligent Unit (BRIU). December 31, 2013 was supposed to mark the end of gas flaring in the country but it appears there is no end in sight. Information made available to BRIU also shows that as at midnight of December 31, 2013, (the last date for gas flaring), the oil majors, including their local counterparts, still flared about 85 per cent gas. Meanwhile, the National Assembly is yet to announce a shift in the date, thereby creating a legal loophole for flaring.

According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in its quarterly petroleum information bulletin monitored by BRIU, the nation flared 222.8 million standard cubic feet (MSCF) of gas, which if processed and exported, would have fetched the country about N242 billion and minimised the health and environmental hazards of gas flaring.

A breakdown of the report shows that ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), accounted for 59 percent of total gas flared in the first nine months of year 2013. This is equivalent to N142 billion ($824 million) in monetary terms, using the current international price of $4.23. The remaining 136.9 mscf of gas flared was accounted for by other Joint Venture Companies, Production Sharing Contract, Service contract, Indigenous companies and marginal fields.

A research report published by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) ranked Nigeria as the second highest gas flaring nation in the world, raising fresh concerns over the commitment of the federal government to realise its ‘Zero Gas Flaring’ policy. The report, which was contained in the OPEC bulletin of February 2013, noted that although government has taken practical measures to drastically reduce the waste through a range of projects that could enhance utilisation of its gas resources, its efforts have yielded minimal reduction.

Peter Olowa