April 16, 2024

Oil firms flare N204bn gas despite economic meltdown

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Adebayo Obajemu

Notwithstanding harsh economic situation of the country, and amidst epileptic supply of gas to the domestic market, a report admitted a loss in Nigeria of about $127.2 million, about N204.41 billion in one month to gas flaring. This is a report of data released by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).

NOSDRA, in its gas flare data, disclosed that oil and gas companies operating in the country flared 36.4 billion Standard Cubic Feet (SCF) of gas valued at N204.4 billion in the month of January 2024, rising by 56.65 per cent compared with January 2023 gas flare volume of 23.2 billion SCF of gas, valued at $81.2 million, about N130.488 billion.

The environmental watchdog noted that the volume of gas flared in January 2024 emitted 1.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, contributing to global warming.

It added that the flared gas quantity also had power generation potential of 3,600 Gigawatts hour (GWh); while the offending firms were liable to pay penalties of $72.7 million, an equivalent of N116.829 billion, using current exchange realities of N1,607 to a dollar, as stated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

In comparison, in the same period in January 2023, the 23.2 billion SCF of gas flared was valued at $81.2 million (N130.488 billion), emitted 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, had power generation potential of 2,300 GWh, while the offending companies were liable for the payment of penalties of $46.4 million, about N74.565 billion.

Giving a breakdown of gas flared in the various operating areas in January 2024, NOSDRA noted that companies operating offshore flared 18.6 billion SCF of gas, valued at $64.9 million, about N104.294 billion; adding that the gas flared emitted 1.0 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; capable of generating 1,900 GWH of electricity, while the companies where liable for penalties payment of $37.1 million, about N59.62 billion.

On the other hand, companies operating onshore cost the country $62.3 million, about N100.116 billion in January 2024, as they flared 17.8 billion SCF of gas which caused carbon dioxide emission of 0.946 million tonnes; capable of generating 1,800 GWh of electricity, while the companies were liable for penalties payment of $35.6 million, about N57.209 billion.

Some of the offending companies, according to NOSDRA include Shell Petroleum, Development Company (SPDC), Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Chevron Nigeria, Mobil Oil, Elf Petroleum Nigeria, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Addax Petroleum, Texaco Overseas (Nigeria), Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria, Allied Energy Resources, Ultramar Petroleum, Atlas Petroleum; Cromwell and South Atlantic Petroleum, among others.

These companies flared gas from Oil Mining Leases (OML) 04, 05, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 22, 28, 23, 24, 38, 40, 42, 43, 72, 49, 54, 90, 95, 67, 70, 104, 59, 99, 100, 101, 102 and Oil Prospecting Licences 222, 316 and 306, among others.

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