By Sebastine Obasi
Despite Nigeria’s dwindling revenue occasioned by massive oil theft, the country has continued to also suffer loss from its gas resources, as companies operating in the country’s petroleum industry flared 170.5 billion standard cubic feet (BSCF) of gas in 10 months, between January and October 2022, according to latest data from the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
NOSDRA stated that the value of total gas flared in the ten-month period stood at $596.9 million. Going by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) current official exchange rate of N443 to a dollar, this translates to a loss of N264.427 billion potential revenue to Nigeria.
NOSDRA also stated that the defaulting companies were liable to fines totaling $341.1 million, an equivalent of N151.107 billion, fines, which it said are sparingly paid by the defaulting companies. According to NOSDRA, the volume of gas flared in the ten-month period under review was equivalent to carbon dioxide emission of 9.1 million tonnes; and had power generation potential of 17,100 gigawatts hour (GWh).
Giving further breakdown of the volume of gas flared across oilfields, NOSDRA reported that companies operating in Nigeria’s offshore oil fields flared 86.8 billion standard cubic feet of gas valued at $303.9 million (N134.628 billion). It added that carbon dioxide emissions from the volume of gas flared offshore was 4.6 million tonnes; while its power generation potential was 8,700 gigawatts-hour of electricity.
Specifically, in January, February, March, April, May and June 2022, 10.83 billion standard cubic feet, BSCF, 13.09 BSCF, 6.003 BSCF, 14.85 BSCF, 12.58 BSCF and 4.81 BSCF of gas were flared, respectively; while 3.73 BSCF, 6.3 BSCF, 7.3 BSCF and 7.34 BSCF of gas were flared in July, August, September and October 2022, respectively. In addition, the agency stated that the companies who flared gas offshore were liable for fines of $173.6 million, an equivalent of N76.905 billion, for the volume of gas flared.
On the other hand, companies operating onshore caused the country loss of $293 million, about N129.799 billion, and were liable for $167.4 million (N74.158 billion) fines, for flaring 83.7 BSCF of gas in the ten-month period, January to October 2022.
Some of the oilfields from which gas flaring was detected, according to NOSDRA are Oil Mining Leases (OML) 11, 13 and 14, operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC); OML 63 and Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 316 and 209, operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC); OMLs 64 and 111, operated by Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC); OPL 209, operated by Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited; OPL 216, operated by Famfa Oil Limited. Others are OML 49, operated by Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Limited; OML 70, Mobil Producing Nigeria; OMLs 100, 101 and 102, operated by Elf Petroleum Nigeria; and OML 86, operated by Texaco Overseas (Nigeria) Petroleum Company, among others.