As part of efforts to preserve the environment, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has succeeded in reducing gas flaring in the Country, by 26 percentage points in the last ten years from 36 per cent to 10 per cent, pushing Nigeria down from the second highest gas flaring nation in 2006 to the seventh position in 2016.
Explaining the gas flare reduction trend recently in Abuja, NNPC Chief Operating Officer, COO, Upstream, Mallam Bello Rabiu, noted that as at 2006 Nigeria was flaring 2.5 billion standard cubic feet (scf) of gas, while consuming only 300mscf of gas per day, adding that technology had helped the industry to record a drastic flare down.
He said the drastic reduction in gas flaring was achieved through aggressive gas commercialization anchored on the Gas Master Plan.
“The Gas Master Plan was geared towards addressing four key critical issues of gas availability, infrastructure, commercialization framework and gas affordability,” Mallam Rabiu said.
He further explained that though the implementation of the plan was driven by NNPC, it was sponsored by all the oil and gas companies operating in the country and that it has helped in addressing some of the issues that were confronting the gas sector.
The COO Upstream stated that in order to ensure gas affordability, the plan stipulates a lower price for gas to the power sector which is the most important segment while other sectors of industries and manufacturing get gas at a commercial rate.
This measure, according to him, was to ensure that gas producers get value for the gas they produce for sale.
On other actions by the Federal Government to end gas flaring in the country, Mallam Rabiu said government had designed a National Gas Policy which seeks, among other things, to end gas flaring by 2020.
He explained that the National Gas Policy had been circulated to all operators to guide them on the direction of the Federal Government with regard to how it wants the nation’s abundant gas resources deployed.
He said the policy document was being studied by all stakeholders in order to put them on the same page with the government.
The COO also informed that the Federal Government provided a guarantee of payment to gas suppliers through the Central Bank of Nigeria and the World Bank three weeks ago as part of incentives to get the oil and gas companies to commercialize more of their gas.
“This is a very important step that the NNPC has been working on since 2008”, he enthused.
On appropriate gas pricing, Mallam Rabiu said that a Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria had been established by all the gas producing companies in Nigeria to work towards achieving parity between domestic and export gas price.