By Emmanuel Aziken
THE Senate is adopting a freshÂ Â strategy to promote domestic gas utilization as a means of curbing the continued flare of an estimated 2.5 billion cubic standard feet (bscf) per day by oil multinationals in the country.
The Senate initiative is against the fear that the effect of continued gas flaring is now spreading beyond the oil producing Niger Delta to the northern hinterland leading to increased deforestation. Central to the Senate initiative as articulated by its Committee on Gas is the plan to triple gas availability in the country to 2042metric million cubic feet/d under a short term period of two years. Nigeria is reckoned to have a gas reserve estimated at 184 trillion cubic feet, out of which about 92 trillion cubic feet is believed to be associated gas.
The fresh Senate initiative is despite its passage of a bill to prohibit flaring of gas by the end of 2010 from the estimated 150 flaring sites in the Niger Delta. The initiative according to Sunday Vanguard sources also aims to introduce third party access to gas utilization in a scheme that would allow third parties access to gas that would
otherwise have been flared by oil producing countries. The gas could be obtained at the point of flare. Such third parties it is envisaged would be able to harness the gas as Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) or cooking gas for domestic utilization.
The proposal to be further articulated in a forthcoming gas summit to be hosted by the Senate Committee on Gas also aims to bring Nigeria within the threshold of countries that have adapted to global mechanisms directed at minimizing the effect of climate change in the world under the Kyoto protocol.