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N’Delta now has 178 gas flare sites out of 16,000 in 90 countries—Agency

The Programme Manager, Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), Office of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Justice Derefaka, has revealed that the intelligence of the agency has assist Nigeria to unmask additional gas flare sites in Niger Delta.

In his keynote address at the Gas Aggregation Buyers Forum organised by the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria Limited in Abuja, he recalled that “What we know in this country is that we have about 139 or 140 gas flare sites, but by our verification with our partners, we found out recently that we have about 178 gas flare sites. That in itself is not complete because we have around 60 per cent, 40 per cent of the data is missing.”

He added, “So we are doing a detailed information request now at the DPR office in Lagos and that figure (178) is going to increase. So in this country right now, we have about 178 gas flare sites out of the 16,000 that we have globally in 90 countries, including Nigeria.”

Derefaka said even before the recent discovery, data from the Department of Petroleum Resources put the number of gas flare sites in the country at between 138 and 140, according to a senior official of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

This is coming as gas producing companies announced on Wednesday that the indebtedness of gas users to them now stood at about $500m (N153.5bn at the official exchange rate of N307 to a dollar).

He stated, “We have bankability issues. Bankability in the sense that data is very key for us because without accurate gas flare data, this programme is dead on arrival. So what we are doing is that we are going beyond the data that we have at the DPR. We’ve sent a special template we designed with the World Bank and USAID asking for a unique data set from the producers.

Industry watchers say even though the Federal Government, in partnership with the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development, has discovered 38 additional gas flare sites in Nigeria, there are indications that many more are yet to be profiled and paid for.