By Chineme OkaforÂ in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)Â on WednesdayÂ stated that it has devised a fresh three-pronged approach to end the practice of gas flare in oil fields across Nigeria, and subsequently move the countryâ€™s position from the worldâ€™s second highest gas flare nation to the seventh.
NNPCâ€™s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated this in a lead paper he delivered during a panel session at the ongoing 50th Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), in Houston, United States of America.
In a statement by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, Baru was quoted as sayingÂ that the three-point strategy aimed at ending gas flaring in the country, which the NNPC has developed, would ensure a sustainable solution to the historical problem of flaring, thereby turning waste into dollars.
He 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 three-point strategy championed by the NNPC to arrest the growth in gas flares include ensuring non-submission of Field Development Plans (FDPs) to the Department Petroleum Resources (DPR), without a viable and executable gas utilisation plan. This, he added would ensure that there are no new gas flare in current and future projects.
The other two strategies, Baru added, were 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.
He also noted that from this, Nigeria would stop being the second highest gas flaring nation in the world to seventh, adding that it would signify a major milestone in the countryâ€™s gas commercialisation prospects.
â€œTotal flares have significantly reduced to current levels of about 800mmscfd and in the next 1-2 years we would have completely ensured zero routine flares from all the gas producers,â€ said Baru.
According to him, NNPC has embarked on the most aggressive expansion of the gas infrastructure network aimed at creating access to the market.
He said: â€œToday, 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 â€“ ‘OB 3’ connecting the eastern supply to the western demand centres.â€
Baru further noted that aside looping Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS 2) gas pipeline projects to increase gas volume capacity to at least two billion cubic feet per day, the corporation has recently signed the contracts to kick off the 614 kilometres 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.
He said that there was evidence that the interventions undertaken by the corporation were working as gas supply to the domestic market has been growing at an encouraging rate from 500 million cubic feetâ€™s per day (mmcf/d) in 2010 to about 1500mmcf/d at the moment.
Baru further informed that the aggressive development of gas infrastructure between supply sources and the market would also create a sustainable evacuation route for currently flared gas and other gas sources.
He equally stated that there were huge opportunities for investments in Nigeriaâ€™s gas sector, adding that the country was expecting overÂ $25Â billion worth of investments in the sector over the next 10 years.