The National Environmental Economic and Development Study (NEEDS) has said that Nigeria flared 225.1 billion standard cubic feet of gas, (bscf) between January and July 2020, stressing that gas flaring in Nigeria’s oil fields has taken a huge toll on the economy.

The environmental cost of gas flaring in Nigeria is $94 million (about N35.7 billion) yearly.

According to the agency, the monetary value of the burnt gas in the international market is $787.7 million (about N299.33 billion).

The volume of gas flared was an equivalent of 12.0 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission. A report from the federal government’s Gas Flare Tracker, stated that the 225.1 bscf of gas flared by the oil and gas firms in the first seven months of 2020 was capable of generating 22,500 gigawatts hour of electricity.

It was gathered that the oil companies responsible for the gas flares are expected to pay fines totaling $450.1 million, an equivalent of N171.04 billion, but no information in the report indicating they have paid any fine for the previous gas flares amounting to several billions of U.S. dollars.

Giving a breakdown of the volume of gas flared in the period under review, the report stated that 136.0 bscf of gas was flared onshore, while 89.1 bscf of gas was flared offshore.

On a month-on-month basis, the report stated that in January 2020, 40.03 bscf of gas was flared; 32.15 bscf in February; 37.61 bscf in March, while 38.84 bscf, 36.98 bscf, 37.21 bscf and 2.24 bscf of gas was flared in April, May, June and July 2020, respectively. Petroleum Nigeria Limited) flared 8.1 bscf from OML 56.

Famfa Oil flared 7.6 bscf of gas from Oil Prospecting Licence, OPL, 216; Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, flared 6.9 bscf, 6.7 bscf and 5.4 bscf of gas from OML 11, OML 29 and OML 18 respectively; while Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s, NNPC, upstream subsidiary, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, flared 4.6 bscf of gas from OPL 091.

In its report, – ‘‘Nigeria’s Flaring Reduction Target: 2020,’’ the World Bank, stated that Nigeria is the seventh-largest gas flaring nation in the world, with almost 8 billion cubic meters of gas flared annually.

According to satellite data, Nigeria is the seventh-largest gas flaring nation in the world. At the same time approximately 75 million Nigerians lack access to electricity.”

Nigeria continues to flare commercial gas because of many issues and problems, including lack of adequate investments in gas and related sectors, especially power.

Others include much associated gas, which is produced along with crude oil, over-reliance on oil and delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, a comprehensive legislation, planned to restructure, encourage investments and bring about more transparency and accountability in the industry.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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