A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Gas flare:SPDC clarirfies re-ignited Opolo-Epie furnace in Bayelsa

Samuel Oyadongha

Yenagoa – The Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on Tuesday said the gas flare that was ignited weekend at its Opolo-Epie furnace was temporary well test and not routine.

According to the company, the test is expected to last one week.

The oil major reaction is coming on the heels of fear being expressed in some quarters that the Opolo-Epie furnace had been re-ignited.

Vice President Corporate Affairs for Shell Sub-Sahara Africa, Mr. Tony Attah who disclosed this said “This is about a flare associated with testing of a well for which SPDC has the necessary permits from the Department of Petroleum Resources adding, “Well test flares are common and accepted practice globally. In this case the flare will only exist for about a week. The gas well was drilled early last year, and we engaged the communities on the extent and duration of flares associated with drilling and tests.”

He said that, as the brief flare is within the regulated limits, it is not true to suggest that the flame is emitting toxic fumes and damaging the environment.

“SPDC has continued to make progress on efforts to reduce routine gas flares in its operational areas. By mid January this year, the company had implemented associated as gathering projects at 36 facilities in different parts of the Niger Delta. The plan is to extend coverage to more than 90 per cent of the associated gas produced in SPDC operations. The entire programme will cost around six billion dollars.

“SPDC is working to find alternative solutions for the remaining facilities, and partnering with the government and the World Bank to identify suitable Nigerian investors that would collect associated gas from flare sites for small scale local projects.”

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