The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has revealed that Nigeria flared a total of 324 billion standard cubic feet (scf) of gas in 2017 capable of generating about 3000 megawatts of electricity.
This represents 888 million scf of gas daily.
Details of the 324 bcf of gas flared are contained in a DPR report sighted by Daily Sun at the weekend.
‘‘Although we are recording a decline, the scale of gas flaring is still worrisome. This shows that we have just made some progress as a nation. In 2012, we were ranked second. In 2015, we went to the fifth position and today, we are seventh. That shows that there has not been much progress in reducing gas flaring considering that seven is not really a better position; we can do more,’’ the report highlighted.
Though the Federal Government has set a 2020 timeline to end gas flaring, stakeholders are, however, divided on the pronouncement as the act is said to be a global practice that can only be reduced but not eliminated.
The report categorised gas flaring to include routine flaring and non-routine flaring. According to it, routine flaring is what you do just because you don’t have anything to do with the gas. But non-routine flaring is making provision in ones oil facility to flare in case of emergency, which is also called safety and emergency flare to free up pressure.
‘‘So, what the Federal Government is planning to end by 2020 is routine gas flaring. Non-routine flaring cannot be stopped because emergencies requiring oil companies to free up some pressure during production will always occur,’’ the report highlighted.
It further indicated that Nigeria needs a deliberate gas exploration agenda as all the gas so far discovered in the country have been by accident and not through a dedicated action plan, adding that the country currently commercialises a paltry 11 per cent of its gas production while the rest is flared.
The report listed Nigeria as the 7th highest gas flaring country in the world with Russia, Iraq, Iran, United States, Venezuela and Algeria coming tops.
The volume of gas flared, according to the document, could generate additional 3,000 megawatts of electricity.
‘‘If the government is able to harness gas currently being flared in the 139 flare locations across the Niger Delta, it would provide 3,000mw of electricity in the nearest future,’’ the document stated.
It disclosed that solution to gas flaring challenge is for government to construct pipelines, which will harness all gas currently being flared into one position for commercialisation.
It stated that there were mistakes in the past with the programme because companies without technical and financial capabilities were allocated flare sites to harness them.
“However, things have changed because DPR is now making sure those who will get allocations will have everything it takes to take gas into the market for sale,” it said.