Nigeria sets to miss 2025 zero flare target, maintains lead in global gas flaring ranking 

Oredola Adeola


Nigeria is on the verge of missing out of the 2025 net zero deadline to end gas flaring in oil producing fields across the country. The World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR) report confirmed this in a statement released on Thursday, which listed Nigeria, the United States and seven others as countries responsible for  75 per cent of gas flaring worldwide.


This is about the eighth time that the country will be missing the opportunity to harness gas belching across all its oil producing fields, thereby losing huge revenue and an opportunity to ramp up gas power generation.


The World Bank CGFR said the seven other countries are Russia, Iraq, Iran,  Venezuela, Algeria, Kazakhstan and  Colombia.Since 1979, Nigeria has missed out on ending gas flaring.


Nigeria’s National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA),  government-run satellite tracker, report also said that 1.8 billion standard cubic feet (scf) per day of gas,  was flared in the last ten years. It is estimated that the country is losing over $2.5 billion yearly.


The World Bank had in 2020 alone, claimed that natural gas valued at $1.24 billion was burned by oil companies in Nigeria,  which could generate the annual electricity use for more that 85 million Nigerians  that do not have access to power.


This amount of flared gas on the oil fields, according to analysts, could  be have been harnessed for use as liquefied natural gas or for plastics or fertilizers production.


The GGFR is a partnership of governments, oil companies, and multilateral organisations including the World Bank aimed at ending routine gas flaring at oil production sites around the world by 2030.


The report released in Washington showed that global progress to reduce the wasteful industry practice of burning natural gas during oil production has stalled over the last decade.It added that gas flaring resulted in nearly 400 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions in 2021.World Banks said that the satellite data compiled and analysed for GGFR’s 2022 Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report revealed that 144 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas was flared at upstream oil and gas facilities last year.


Demetrios Papathanasiou, Global Director for the Energy and Extractives Global Practice at the World Bank said,  “Ending the polluting and wasteful practise of gas flaring and decarbonising oil and gas production, while also accelerating the transition to cleaner energy, is fundamental to mitigating climate change.”


The report further said, “Gas flaring results from market and economic constraints and a lack of appropriate regulation and political will.


“The practice releases pollutants into the atmosphere, and we estimate that the practice released 361 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, 39 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions in the form of methane, and black carbon (soot), contributing significantly to global warming.


“While 2021 showed disappointing progress amidst the global pandemic, some promising flaring reduction trends emerged in several countries.


“GGFR revealed that the United States is the only one of the top 10 flaring countries to have successfully reduced flare volumes while increasing production over the last decade, decreasing its flaring intensity — the volume of gas flared per barrel of oil produced — by 46 percent.


Global Flaring and Venting Regulations, GGFR  also examined the flaring and venting policies of 21 countries and highlights successful approaches to reducing emissions. The report revealed that many countries have also demonstrated leadership in flare reduction.”


Zubin Bamji, GGFR’s Programme Manager at the World Bank, in his remark claimed policies to reduce gas flaring and venting have not proven effective.


He said, “Our new regulatory review and analysis will help governments create the right policies for their specific circumstances so routine flaring and venting can come to an end by 2030, which is our collective goal,”


Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, last week claimed that Nigeria has approximately 206.53 trillion cubic feet of proven gas valued at over $803.4tn and potential upside of 600TCF of gas, the most extensive in Africa, and in the top 10 globally.


He said the government planned to achieve its energy policies through  security of natural gas supply, economic competitiveness, and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.