Abuja — The Nigerian Government, Thursday, insisted that it would end the flaring of gas by oil and gas companies in Nigeria by 2020.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja at an International Press Conference on ‘The Journey So Far and the Next Line of Action for the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP),’ Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, bemoaned the fact that Nigeria had failed to properly utilize its gas resources for the development of the Nigerian economy.
He bemoaned the fact that a significant volume of gas produced in the country was flared, depriving the country the benefits that could have been accrued from the resources.
Kachikwu explained that the NGFCP was a key component of the National Gas Policy, which sought to end gas flaring, create an enabling environment for investors, seek value addition for gas, and improving governance in the sector.
He said, “Premised on the foregoing, the policy position of His Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari is that gas flaring is totally unacceptable. In this regard, the Federal Government of Nigeria, FGN, initiated a number of actions to reaffirm its commitment to ending the practice of gas flaring in our oil fields.
“Furthermore, in recognition that flared gas could be harnessed to stimulate economic growth, drive investments and provide jobs in oil producing communities and indeed for Nigerians through the utilization of widely available innovative technologies, the Federal Executive Council in June 2016, approved the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, NGFCP.”
Also speaking, Chairman of the Ministerial Steering Committee of the NGFCP and Senior Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources on Refineries, Gas, Power and Downstream Infrastructure, Mr. Rabiu Suleiman, disclosed that over 800 companies have expressed interest to manage about 176 gas flare sites, noting that out of the total companies, about 226 have paid the stipulated fees and their bids had been received.
Suleiman noted that the committee shall endeavor to recommend the best governance structure prior to the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, carrying on with the programme as a statutory function immediately after the first auction rounds.
He noted that the NGFCP was designed as the strategy to implement the policy objectives of the FGN for the elimination of gas flares with potentially enormous multiplier and development outcomes for Nigeria.
According to him, the objective of the NGFCP is to achieve the gas flare-out commitment through technically and commercially sustainable gas utilisation projects developed by competent third-party investors who will be invited to participate in a competitive and transparent bid process.
Listing the benefits of the project, he said, “Overall, the NGFCP potential GDP impact is estimated at approximately $1 billion per annum. Assuming average project sizes in the range of $10-40 million, the NGFCP has a potential of triggering around 70 to 89 projects.
“And over a 1 – 2 year period, the NGFCP could generate approximately 300,000 direct and indirect jobs.
“Provide six million households with clean energy, particularly in unlocking LPG (cooking gas i.e. produce 600,000 metric tonnes, MT, of LPG per year). Once operational, projects launched under the NCFCP would reduce Nigeria’s emissions by approximately 13 million tons of CO2 per year.”