By Ediri EJOH
THE Nigeria Gas Association, NGA, said the country has reduced gas flaring from two billion cubit fit per day to 700 million cubits fit per day, indicating 65percent improvement in the last 10 years.
The President, NGA, Dada Thomos, who made this known at a briefing to announce the fourth coming NGA International gas conference and exhibition to hold in Abuja in October, stated that, “this achievement is quite commendable.”
He explained that, “By the way, Nigeria has made substantial progress in gas flare reduction, as we have reduced flaring from two billion cubit fit per day 10 years ago to 700 million cubits fit per day. Even, 700cfpd is too much as that could generate 3,000 megawatts of power and we are flaring such on daily basis. Let’s turn it into zero, value and let us clean up the environment.
The NGA boss frowned at the Federal Government’s planned revocation of licenses of oil companies that failed to stop flaring of gas in their operations in the country next year.
He said, “The revocation of licenses is the ultimate sanctions and there ought to be other measures before the conclusion of revocation of licenses. The government, in June this year had approved the flares commercialization and the program has been pursued vigorously and enthusiastically to ensure that flare is put out in the coming years.
“The bedrock of it is that government will take ownership of gas that should go to the flare and will bring that to interested companies who can monetize what ordinarily would have been treated as waste and flare.
“Government and the stakeholders need to work together to ensure the success of the flares out program rather than the threats to rain fire and brain stone to revoke licenses.
“Revocation has all kinds of legal issues because people can be in court for years and we don’t want to go that lane. In my view, let’s work collaboratively to turn waste into money, value and if it is daring, business people would jump at it. My take is, let’s all work together and we wish the government success on that program.”
Outlining strategies needed to grow the gas sector, NGA boss called on the government to take proactive steps to accelerate the process of concluding the Petroleum Industry Governance and Fiscal Bills, and signing them into law, to attract investment in the oil and gas sector.
He explained that the association has come a long way in its quest to contribute to the development of the Nigerian gas industry, and to ensure the right policy environment for the realization of this goal, the NGA proactively initiated programs and activities to engage government policy makers and the investing public.
He noted that at no time in the history of our industry has natural gas been poised to play a more important role in our country and sub Saharan African energy picture.
Thomas said, “natural gas revolution” is the most significant energy thing in decades of the region development. The implications of this revolution, with a particular focus on what it means for West Africa region is important for our industry and the region economy to grasp. The industry in the past decade has developed and perfected the technology needed to unlock gas from places previously assumed to be out of reach, and natural gas will be a far bigger player in meeting the country’s future energy challenge than had previously assumed.
“But to unlock the potentials, the right environment should be created by government through addressing lapses in the existing laws, by ensuring that the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, is accented to by the president.”
Thomas said current liquidity in the sector is creating unpleasant situation and may worsen if gas suppliers are not paid for gas supplied to the power sector.
Also speaking, Vice President, NGA, Mrs. Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, stated that the benefits of natural gas in meeting the country’s future energy needs are well-documented, and that it’s supply is increasingly abundant and diverse, which means greater energy security.
He, however, pointed out that turning natural gas into a profit-making venture requires huge investments in infrastructure that address the five component areas of gas availability, gas affordability, deliverability, funding, and the legal and regulatory framework.
“Government and operators alike recognize that the first step is to provide a legal and regulatory framework that will enable the removal of all the other obstacles. As we all know, the passed gas policy proposes reforms so profound that almost every new investment is on hold awaiting the resolution of the questions raised by this legislation.”