The system which would be domiciled with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, was funded by the United Kingdom government through the Department for International Development, DFID.
It would enable the government impose in full, necessary sanctions against oil companies which continue to flare gas in the country.
Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam who launched the system in Abuja said the tracker has the ability to determine the amount of unpaid fines by oil companies estimated at $1.1billion per annum.
Mallam explained that oil and gas companies are pumping nearly 17million tones of carbon emissions into the atmosphere yearly, a process that is costing the nation economically and endangering the environment in the region.
According to her, “The opportunity cost of gas flaring is the amount of power that could have been generated had the gas been channeled to the power sector. The gas to power potential is enormous, and is estimated at 27,612Gwh.
“This would effectively double Nigeria’s current electricity target for 2014 and could provide 40 percent of Nigeria’s total electricity requirements based on a current needs assessment”.
She noted that “the gas flare tracker is able to display the volume of gas flared, which is estimated 319scf per annum. It also has the ability to calculate the amount of unpaid fines by facility owners, estimated at $1.1b per annum”.
The Minister who pointed out that the system would use available date to help the authority to make headway into reducing gas flaring, said the regulators would now be able to make informed decisions on gas flaring.
Speaking at the event, United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Andrew Pocock said the gas flare tracking is an online tracking system that would provide data and insight to help regulators and operators of the sector.
“This work will give the government and the industry and most importantly the Nigerian public the most important comprehensive and stark picture of the extent of gas flaring in this country”, he noted.
*Obas Esiedesa – Daily Independent