BY Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—Special Adviser to Bayelsa State Governor on Power, Engr. Olice Kemenanabo, weekend, said until the recent wake up call for gas utilization, the Kolo Creek in the state alone wasted N39.42 trillion through gas venting.
He said the wasted gas, if harnessed, would have boosted the nation’s revenue profile.
Kemenanabo, a guest lecturer at the 12th Distinguished Electrical and Electronics Engineering Annual Lecture titled: Surmounting the Obstacles to the Development of Sustainable Power System in Nigeria: The Techno-Economic Approach, in Yenagoa, described as ironic and untenable, the story of lack of gas or any other feedstock for that matter, when the country has huge untouched fossil resources with potentials capable of exporting electricity to the entire sub-Saharan Africa.
He noted with concern that since Nigeria struck oil in commercial quantity at Oloibiri in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state in 1956, gas flares had continued to be an associated part of life in the Niger Delta.
He said: “Besides the attendant consequences, the unharnessed gas from 1956 till date can only be imagined in terms of wealth creation and employment generation. We simply burnt away a huge chunk of directly accruable revenue and the regenerative potentials of that revenue.”
He said Kolo Creek, where the first and largest independent power project by any state government was sited, flared about 80 million standard cubic feet of gas daily from 1962 until recently, when it was harnessed and gathered by Shell Petroleum Development Company at the Gbarain-Ubie Gathering Facility.
“From that time, 45 years till the wake up call for gas utilization, Kolo Creek alone wasted N39.42 trillion through gas venting while flares like the Nun River, Adibawa, Tebidaba, Clough Creek, Benesede, Rumukrushie and Yorla among others, have continued to “illuminate the environment” in a poisonous way that is unacceptable anywhere else in the world but Nigeria,” he said.