The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has unveiled the Regulatory Framework for Energy Transition, Decarbonisation and Carbon Monetisation for upstream operations in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
The Commission Chief Executive (CCE), Gbenga Komolafe disclosed this in a keynote address he delivered at a roundtable discussion at the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties 2023 (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The theme of the session was: “Driving Sustainable Upstream Operations to Achieve Just and Equitable Energy Transition.”
In his contribution during the discussion, the U.S Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Change, Claire Wang; Head of Climate & Clean Air Coalition, United Nations Environment Programme, Martina Otto; Global Director, Clean Air Task Force, Jonathan Banks, and Managing Director, ZIGMA Oil and Gas, Funmi Ogbue, exchanged ideas on how Nigeria can attain climate neutrality through energy transition and the implementation of decarbonisation measures.
The CCE said the Commission was championing the decarbonisation of upstream operations to sustain investments for energy security and economic development for the benefit of Nigerians in line with national aspirations and consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Komolafe noted that the Framework was hinged on seven pillars, namely Natural Gas Shift, zero routine gas flaring & methane abatement, carbon market development, technology and innovation, upstream operations efficiency, incentive mechanism, collaboration and risk management
“I call on all stakeholders, government agencies, operators, international development partners and multilateral agencies to join us as we progress in the steady implementation of the Framework within the coming months, which will be underpinned by applicable Directives, Guidelines, and Regulations”, the Upstream Regulator Chief said.
“Interestingly, the implementation of the Regulatory Framework has already commenced on the heels of the introduction of the Gas Flare, Venting & Methane, Prevention of Waste and Pollution Regulations 2023 which provides the renewed legislative basis to take firm actions on gas flaring, venting and fugitive emissions,” he added.
Also, he said the implementation of the 2022 Guidelines for Management of Fugitive Methane and Greenhouse Gases Emissions in the Upstream Oil and Gas Operations in Nigeria launched at COP27 was already achieving commendable outcomes.
Besides, the CCE highlighted the successes of the ongoing execution of the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) as a major climate action initiative for Nigeria in the nation’s energy transition pathway.
The NGFCP projects when fully executed, he pointed out, would mop up about 50% of Nigeria’s gas flares, accounting for an equivalent of an average of 6 and 7 Million tonnes of carbon emission per year, in addition to significant socio-economic impacts.
While acknowledging the considerable support of international development partners on the NGFCP, the NUPRC Boss seized the opportunity to call for enhanced assistance from climate action stakeholders in technical areas of project financing/funding, carbon credit earning framework, and capacity building. In the Nigerian upstream petroleum sector, he said focus has been on driving industry efficiency and sustainability based on the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 (PIA) in line with the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan.
He highlighted Nigeria’s key actions in driving sustainable upstream operations to achieve a just and equitable energy transition.
Based on the Paris Agreement, Komolafe said Nigeria has set aationally determined contributions (NDC) in support of 2030 emission reduction targets for which the country committed to unconditional reduction of 20% and conditional reduction of 47% with international support in the form of financing, technology transfer, and capacity building. Consequently, he said the Nigerian oil and gas emission reduction targets were set at 60% reduction in fugitive methane emission by 2031 and zero gas flaring in 2030 as part of the ambitious transition path defined for achieving national climate neutrality by 2060. These mitigation measures, he said, have further been emphasised in the Nigeria’s long-term low emission development strategy, launched earlier at the Conference by the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC).
“Whereas the global imperatives may be perceived to be driven primarily by climate and environmental actions, the impacts of energy geopolitics and global resource control cannot be overlooked. Thus, the evolving dynamics must be calibrated against geography, history, and politics as well as the need for energy justice, equity, inclusivity, and sustainability,” the CCE noted. Referencing the views of global leaders at various fora, including the G7 Ministers, G20 and the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which upheld that “national circumstances” would be factored into the phasing down of fossil fuels, Komolafe reiterated the position of the International Energy Agency (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2023 %, which said that “every country needs to find its own pathway, and it needs to be inclusive and equitable to secure public acceptance…”
He said the stance of the world leaders was in recognition of the impacts of the unprecedented global energy crisis which has derailed the global energy transition plans, and adding that the blueprint of country-tailored pathways to transition aligns perfectly with Nigeria’s position on “just and equitable transition.”
While the global imperatives for energy transition is clear and justified, the CCE said ther need for the energy security, economic development and prosperity were more compelling. For Nigeria, he disclosed that energy transition presents grand opportunities to mobilise the country’s resources to deepen energy security in an environmentally sustainable manner.
As the energy transition gains momentum, he said it should be stressed that Nigeria was well resourced in the energy mix, as the nation was blessed with potentials for green and blue hydrogen, solar, wind, biomass, and other renewable sources as well as the availability of critical minerals that support accessories for renewables and clean energy technologies.
These endowments, he pointed out, underscores the immense potentials of Nigeria to contribute to the evolving global energy landscape for economic prosperity and sustainability.
As the regulator and business enabler, the CCE said the NUPRC was leveraging the opportunity of rising global energy demand to position the nation’s upstream sector for decarbonisation to meet national aspirations.
“The future we foresee for the petroleum industry is one that should assure for the utilization of Nigeria’s endowed natural hydrocarbon resources for shared prosperity, energy accessibility, sustainability, and security. Those are the cardinal pillars of the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan upon which basis the Nigerian Government declared natural gas as transition or bridge fuel.