Nigeria has reportedly lost N891 billion to gas flaring in 18 months, according to data provided by the Nigerian Oil Spill Monitor, an arm of the Nigerian Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), on Sunday.
EnergyDay’s breakdown of the figure(N891 billion) showed that Nigeria lost N707 billion in 2021 and N184 billion in the first half of 2022.
The Federal Government had through the guidelines for the 2018 reviewed fiscal penalty, which moved payment from 50 cent to $3.50 per 1, 000 standard cubic feet (scf).
Based on the guidelines companies producing more than 10,000bpd pay a fine of $3.50 per 1,000 standard SCF of gas flared. Companies producing less than 10,000bpd pay $0.5 per 1000bpd while they pay $0.5 per 1000scf of gas flared.
The oil spill agency claimed that Nigeria’s oil and gas businesses flared a total of 126 billion standard cubic feet (SCF) of gas in the first half of 2022, resulting in a loss of $441.2 million (approximately N183.54 billion) in the six months.
Whereas, in 2021, about 23,862.271 barrels of oil (3,770,238.864 liters, or 119 tanker trucks) were spilled.
Brent International was sold for an average of $71 per barrel in 2021, bringing the total revenue loss in that year to $1.7m.
The estimation puts the equivalent of the volume of gas flared in the first half of 2022 to carbon dioxide, resulting in a CO2 emission of 6.7 million tonnes in the oil-producing areas, 4.56 per cent higher than the 120.5 billion SCF of gas flared in the second half of 2021, and capable of generating 12,600 gigawatt hours of electricity.
The data also showed that the volume of flared gas in the first six months of 2021 was enough to generate 14,000 Gigatonnes of energy and 7.4 million tonnes of CO2.
NOSDRA claimed that although firms working in the offshore oilfields flared 62.2 billion SCF of gas in the first six months of 2022, companies operating onshore blew 63.9 billion SCF of gas, valued at $223.6 million.
The report also showed that a total of 382 cases of publicly known oil spill were recorded in 2021.
A total of 33 of the 382 events were not examined by a joint investigation team, and 122 of these had no estimated amount of oil spilled.
The report further established that two major oil spills were recorded in 2021, with over 250 barrels spilt into inland waters and over 2,500 barrels spilt on land, swamp, shoreline and open sea.
It also noted that a total of seven medium oil spill incidents were recorded in 2021, with 25–250 barrels split into inland waters, or 250–2,500 barrels spilt on land, swamp, shoreline and the open sea.
In terms of minor oil spills, about 239 cases were recorded as up to 25 barrels spilt into inland waters, or 250 barrels on land, swamp, shoreline, and the open sea. According to the report, about 174 of the spills were under 10 barrels in size, while 128 oil spills could not be classified.
The NOSDRA report also claimed that gas is burned off or flared as part of the oil production process. However, the Federal Government has, in recent years, led campaigns for gas monetisation against flaring.
NOSDRA regrets that after many years of flaring gas in Nigeria, most of the operating oil companies have continued to release carbon dioxide and other gaseous substances into the atmosphere, without minding the environmental and health implications of flaring on the residents of the oil-producing communities.