The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, says it has succeeded in reducing gas flaring in the country by 26 per cent in the last ten years.
The corporation said the reduction, which has pushed Nigeria down from the second highest gas flaring nation to the seventh position, was from 36 per cent in 2006 to 10 per cent in 2016.
Explaining the gas flare reduction trend recently in Abuja, NNPC Chief Operating Officer, COO, Upstream, Bello Rabiu, noted that as at 2006 Nigeria was flaring 2.5 billion standard cubic feet (scf) of gas, while consuming only 300mscf of gas per day.
According to a statement released on Sunday by NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, Mr. Rabiu said the drastic reduction in gas flaring was achieved through aggressive gas commercialisation anchored on the Gas Master Plan. He also noted that as part of efforts to preserve the environment, technology had helped the industry to record a drastic reduction in gas flaring.
“The Gas Master Plan was geared towards addressing four key critical issues of gas availability, infrastructure, commercialisation framework and gas affordability,” Mr. Rabiu said.
He further explained that though the implementation of the plan was driven by NNPC, it was sponsored by all the oil and gas companies operating in the country and that it has helped in addressing some of the issues that were confronting the gas sector.
The COO also stated that in order to ensure gas affordability, the plan stipulates a lower price for gas to the power sector which is the most important segment while other sectors of industries and manufacturing get gas at a commercial rate.
This measure, according to him, was to ensure that gas producers get value for the gas they produce for sale.
On other actions by the federal government to end gas flaring in the country, Mr. Rabiu said government had designed a National Gas Policy which seeks, among other things, to end gas flaring by 2020.
He explained that the National Gas Policy had been circulated to all operators to guide them on the direction of the Federal Government with regard to how it wants the nation’s abundant gas resources deployed.
The statement also quoted Mr. Rabiu as saying that the federal government has provided a guarantee of payment to gas suppliers through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the World Bank three weeks ago as part of incentives to get the oil and gas companies to commercialise more of their gas.
“This is a very important step that the NNPC has been working on since 2008”, he said.