11 September 2014, Port Harcourt – Nigeria lost N31.8billion through gas flaring in the month of February this year alone, the Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has said.
Its Communications Officer, Lillian Akhigbe, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday, described gas flaring as the bane of the nation’s gas sector
She lamented that very little has been achieved to stimulate growth in the sector since Nigerian Gas Master Plan (NGMP) was approved in 2008.
According to her, the NGMP was designed to boost the gas sector in order to attain a full market-driven status which regrettably had not been acheived.
She also lamented that the country had neither experienced a long term energy security nor enjoyed comparative advantage in the high-value gas export market, adding that it is persistent gas-flaring, mainly in the oil and gas producing communities of the Niger Delta region, that had become the order of the day.
Akhigbe said: “Statistics indicate that Nigeria has about 179 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves, yet it lost $198.775 million (about N31.8 billion) to gas flaring in the month of February, 2014.
“The NNPC data further revealed that the amount of gas flared was 50.098 billion Standard Cubic Feet (SCF), which is equivalent to 23.2 per cent of the total gas produced in the period, 215.93 billion SCF.
“The abundant gas resources have regrettably spelt doom rather than boom for the people whose environment is perpetually devastated by incessant emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
“Gas flaring in Nigeria dates back to 1956, when oil was first discovered in the country and as oil production increased, so did gas production, of which the gas is often regarded as a waste product and disposed into the atmosphere.”
While fingering independent oil companies, marginal field operators, production sharing companies and joint venture operators for being involved in gas flaring to varying degrees, Akhigbe also said government has not adequately checkmated these firms.
“So far, government’s efforts at curbing the menace of gas flaring have been feeble and grossly inadequate, as Nigeria remains one of the largest gas-flaring countries in the world,” she said, adding that the last National Conference recommended in its final report that gas-flaring should be criminalised and offenders made to pay the commercial value of the flared gas. The conference also recommended that communities prone to gas flaring should be paid compensation for its devastating effects on health, safety and environment.