For effective coordination of the gas commercialisation programme towards the Federal Government 2025 gas flares-out target, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has inaugurated a special team to that effect.
The 12-member Flare Gas Commercialisation Programme Team would ensure gas flaring, which has continued to constitute a menace in the oil and gas industry, particularly its adverse effect on the environment and the people, was eradicated.
Gas flaring, experts say, is not only fraught with serious health/environmental consequences, but is also a major resource waste and value erosion to the country.
To find a valuable use of gas for domestic use, industrial energy and power generation, the Federal Government declared 2021 and 2030 as the “Decade of Gas”, to enable the country shift focus from oil-centred exploitation to gas-driven industrial development.
Although the World Bank has set 2030 as the target year to end gas flaring in the global oil and gas industry, Nigeria has not only set a country its deadline to for 2025.
President Muhammadu Buhari made a commitment towards the Paris Agreement during the COP26 Leaders’ Summit to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2060.
In 2016, the Federal Government initiated the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) to end flaring of natural gas by oil companies operating in the country.
Although the initiative was well-received by stakeholders and industry watchers, unforeseen constraints truncated its execution.
At the inauguration of the Flare Gas Commercialisation Programme Team in Abuja at the weekend, NUPRC’s Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, said monetising the country’s abundant gas resources was a positive step towards guaranteeing energy security, especially in the global energy transition period.
The steering committee members include K.O. Ofoegbu and O.I. Anyanechi; while A.T. Adeyiga, J.O. Ogunsola, J.C. Anyanwu, A.O. Okwah, O.E. Oje, N.E. Odega, K. R. Abisoye, J. C. Echendu, C. I. Chukwukaelo and G. L. Umoru form the programme team.
Kofolafe said as a nation, Nigeria must ensure that all available gas resources were harnessed for value addition.
He announced that NUPRC was recommencing the process of issuing flare sites to technically competent companies, following a competitive bid process.
“This process has become crucial in view of the policy direction of the Federal Government to ensure all gas resources are developed for National development,” Komolafe said.
He said the Commission was currently carrying out a study in conjunction with external technical resources to identify suitable flare sites for the auction process.
The NUPRC Chief said it was for that purpose that the committee of staff of the Commission was inaugurated to drive the process and coordinate implementation of the programme.
The committee is expected to carry out its mandate bearing in mind the overarching significance of the programme to the socio-economic well-being of the country.
The Chief Executive appreciated the support from the USTDA, USAID and other stakeholders and reiterated the Commission’s commitment towards ensuring the programme was expeditiously executed.
The inauguration was witnessed by a delegation from USAID comprising Oladiran Adesua, Jennifer Ifeanyi Okoro and Andrew Smith.