Although it is in dire need of gas to boost its electricity supply, Nigeria has continued to flare gas worth $850 million yearly, and this is authoritative.
Confirming the losses that the country suffers from the sector, the Deputy Director and Head Upstream, of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mrs. Pat Maseli, at the 10th annual Sub-Saharan Africa Oil and Gas Conference in Houston Texas, US, disclosed that about 3,500 megawatts of electricity that could have been harnessed through gas was also lost as a result.
Maseli also told the gathering that, no fewer than 55 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) is lost annually, while 25 million tons of carbon dioxide is emitted within the same period, all as a result of the gas flaring process in Nigeria.
When compared with the situation in other oil producing countries, Nigeria is the only leading OPEC member country still flaring over 60 per cent of its gas, as against converting same for industrial use or for renewable energy, the DPR spokesman said.
According to her, â€œThough the country is recording decline, the scale of gas flaring is still on the high side and is worrisome.
â€œEfforts made by DPR to maximize the use of gas in the country, by developing policy to drive it have been awaiting support of stakeholders and more especially the approval of the National Assembly whose duty is to pass the bill.â€
On how to temporarily reduce the level of loses that the country suffers, she said there must be a Gas Master Plan, which will seek to deliver gas to commercial sub-sectors for use as fuel.
This will also be feasible if all the power plants, designed to run with gas are ready to take up the product from the exploring wells.
â€œThe master plan will create regional hub for gas-based industries such as fertilizer, petrochemical and methanol. It will transform the gas sector to value adding sector in a bid to consolidate Nigeriaâ€™s position and market share in high value export markets,â€ she said.
Investigation reveals that in compliance to the 2008-2013 Domestic Gas Supply Obligation programme, Nigeria only achieved about 23 per cent made in gas flaring reduction.
Also between 2016 and 2017, the projection is that about 38.18 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, would have been achieved, but nothing on the ground, in terms of policy initiative to drive this, has yet been seen.