Oil companies flare 92.3mscf gas in four months


A report by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has revealed that oil producing companies in Nigeria flared 92.3 million standard cubic feet (mscf) of gas between January and April 2023.

According to the data obtained from NOSDRA, the 92.3mscf of gas flared in the four-month period of 2023 translated to a gas value loss of $323.1 million, about N150.08 billion at CBN rate.

This represents an increase of 79.5 per cent against 50.3mscf of gas flared in the corresponding period of 2022.

The report also noted that the volume of gas flared in the four-month period is equivalent to 4.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission and has a power generation potential of 9,200 gigawatts of electricity per hour.

On a month-on-month basis, the report noted that in January, February, March and April, 23.2 mscf, 27.1 mscf, 25.9 mscf and 16.1 mscf of gas were flared respectively.

The Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA), the primary and comprehensive framework that regulates the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari on August 16, 2021, provides a framework to regulate and gradually eliminate gas flaring in the country.

Section 104 of the PIA criminalizes the act of gas flaring by any licensee, lessee or marginal field operator, except in three instances which include cases of emergency, exemption from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and when it is considered acceptable as a safety practice under established regulation.

Furthermore, Section 105 of the PIA penalizes any person who is in default of Section 104. These penalties are prescribed in the Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018 (The Regulation).

The oil producing firms involved in flaring are expected to pay penalties amounting to $184.6 million for breaching the gas flaring laws in the four-month period but it is highly unlikely that the penalties will be paid soon judging by the outstanding debts owed by the oil companies.