…Loses N868m daily
Adewale Sanyaolu, Houston, Texas
Hopes of bringing an end to the several years of gas flaring may have received the desired boost as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has set a 2020 deadline to end the menace.
Its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, gave the cheery news while delivering the lead paper on a panel session at the ongoing 50th Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, United States of America.
The NNPC boss equally announced a three-point smart strategy aimed at ending gas flaring in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
Speaking on the theme: “Nigeria’s Gas Flare Commercialisation, Prospects & Opportunities”, Baru explained that in the last decade, gas flaring in Nigeria had reduced significantly from 25 per cent to 10 per cent.
According to him, the multi-pronged approach taken by NNPC would ensure a sustainable solution to the problem of flaring, thereby turning waste to dollars.
The three-point strategy championed by NNPC to arrest the growth in gas flares includes ensuring non-submission of Field Development Plans (FDPs) to the industry regulator – the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), without a viable and executable gas utilisation plan, a move aimed at ensuring that there would be no new gas flare in current and future projects.
Baru had at the 2018 Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum, OLEF, organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), said that Nigeria is currently losing N868 million daily to gas flare, adding that oil and gas firms operating in the country are currently flaring 700 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
The other two strategies, Baru added, are a steady reduction of existing flares through a combination of targeted policy interventions in the Gas Master-plan as well as the re-invigoration of the flare penalty through the 2016 Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) and through legislation, that is, ban on gas flaring through the recent Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018.
This development, Baru added, would not only see Nigeria dropping from being the second highest gas flaring nation in the world to seventh, it would also signify a major milestone in its gas commercialisation prospects.
“Total flares have significantly reduced to current levels of about 800mmscfd and in the next one to two years, we would have completely ensured zero routine flares from all the gas producers,” the GMD stated.
According to him, NNPC has embarked on the most aggressive expansion of the gas infrastructure network aimed at creating access to the market.
“Today, we have completed and commissioned almost 600km of new gas pipelines, thereby connecting all existing power plants to permanent gas supply pipeline. We are also currently completing the construction of the strategic 127km Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben gas pipeline – “OB 3” connecting the Eastern supply to the Western demand centres,” he added.
Baru explained that, aside looping Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS 2) gas pipeline projects to increase gas volume capacity to at least 2Bcf/day, the corporation has recently signed the contracts to kick off the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project, which on completion, would deliver gas to the ongoing power plants in the areas and revive the manufacturing industries in the northern part of the country.