Mr. Mikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has promised that gas flaring will end in Nigeria in a year or two.
Baru, who said this while speaking at the 50th Off-shore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston also said the country has already reduced flared gas from 25% to 10%; scaling the state from the second to the seventh highest gas emitting country in the globe.
He said the corporation had adopted a multi-pronged approach to bringing down the volume of gas being flared by oil companies.
According to him, the first step taken by the Corporation was to ensure no new fields were developed without a Field Development Plan, in order to prevent flaring from future projects.
Baru added that in conjunction with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the corporation has formulated a series of policies such as the Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018 and adjustments to the gas flare penalty through its Gas Flare Commercialization Program.
“These have significantly reduced gas flared to current levels of about 800mmscfd and in the next 1-2 years we would have completely ensured zero routine flares from all the gas producers,” Baru noted.
He said the corporation’s flare programme has been followed up with an aggressive gas infrastructure programme: “Today, we have completed and commissioned almost 600km of new gas pipelines thereby connecting all existing power plants to permanent gas supply pipelines. We are also currently completing the. construction of the strategic 127km Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben gas pipeline –“OB 3” connecting the Eastern supply to the Western demand centres,” he added.
According to Baru, the Nigerian gas market is the most vibrant in Africa and is positioned for investments of up to $25 billion in ten years.
“Nigeria offers unique opportunities for investment in exploration, refining, storage, transportation, power, distribution and marketing of petroleum products,” Baru observed.
For the gas market to meet the GMD’s expectation, the country will need to resolve the pricing challenge faced by indigenous players; with specific reference to gas to power stakeholders.