By Sebastine Obasi in Texas
Nigeria’s quest for stoppage of gas flare may be realised sooner than later if the promise made by the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, is anything to go by.
Speaking at the ongoing 50th Offshore Technology Conference, OTC, in Houston, Texas, United States of America, Baru stated that the country will achieve zero flare within the next two years.
“Total flares have been significantly reduced to current levels of about 800 million standard cubic feet, mmscfd and in the next 1-2 years we would have completely ensured zero routine flares from all the gas producers,” Baru stated.
He also said that a three-pronged approach aimed at ending gas flare, thereby turning waste into money, has been adopted. This includes ensuring non-submission of Field Development Plans (FDPs) to the industry regulator, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), without a viable and executable gas utilization plan, a move aimed at ensuring zero gas flare in current and future projects.
The other two strategies, Baru added, were a steady reduction of existing flares through a combination of targeted policy interventions in the Gas Master-plan as well as the re-invigoration of the flare penalty through the 2016 Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP) and through legislation in line with the ‘Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018’.
This development, he added, would not only see Nigeria dropping from being the second highest gas flaring nation in the world to seventh, it would also signify a major milestone in its gas commercialization prospects.
According to him, NNPC has embarked on the most aggressive expansion of the gas infrastructure network aimed at creating access to the market.
“Today, we have completed and commissioned almost 600km of new gas pipelines thereby connecting all existing power plants to permanent gas supply pipeline. We are also currently completing the construction of the strategic 127km Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben gas pipeline – “OB 3” connecting the Eastern supply to the Western demand centres,” he added.