Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva has disclosed that Nigeria flared about 324 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas in 2017.
Sylva, who said this at the recent 9th annual gas summit of the Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA), added that the volume of gas flared by the country in that year was worth $1 billion, and could as well produce for her 3000 megawatts (MW) of electricity daily.
He spoke through the Programme Coordinator for the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercalisation Programme (NGFCP), Mr. Justice Derefaka, and explained that in addition, the country failed to earn up to $350 million emission credit value from such gas flare.
Sylva stated that the irony of the development was that the country still had a good number of its citizens without electricity. He, however, noted that the NGFCP would be deployed to harness the flared gas for use by the country’s domestic economy.
“In Nigeria, a large number of people do not have access to energy; yet in a world where we are under increased climate pressure, we flare gas – a precious natural resource, fuel that is an important part of the global energy transition.
“Oddly, Nigeria is utilising approximately 700 million standard feet per day (mmscf/d) of gas for power production. Which means Nigeria could actually double power production from gas flares.
“In 2017, Nigeria flared ~324bcf of gas, losing around $1 billion dollars’ worth of economic potential to gas flaring (enough to generate around 3000MW of power), and approximately $350 million emission credit value,” he said.
He explained that out of 16,000 gas flare sites available in 90 countries, Nigeria accounted for 178 of them and the seventh largest emitter of flared gas globally.
According to him the NGFCP has been developed as the strategy to implement the policy objectives of the government for the elimination of gas flares from Nigeria’s oil fields in the near term with potentially enormous multiplier and development outcomes for Nigeria.
The objective of the NGFCP, he stated would include the elimination of gas flaring through technically and commercially sustainable gas utilisation projects developed by competent third-party investors.
He also said the NGFCP could generate up to 600,000 metric tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per year for six million households to use as clean energy source.
“So, what does all this mean? Nigeria is and continues to be a nation blessed with ample energy resources that has been the backbone of our economic and social well-being.
“In the midst of a dynamic global economy, it is paramount that Nigeria ensures the continued pre-eminence of our gas industry so that it can serve as an engine and catalyst for our economy for the benefit of Nigerians for generations to come,” he said.