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FG changing the narrative of being 7th largest emitter of flared gas—Minister

The Federal Government is currently doing everything possible under the law and available international best practices to end gas flaring in the nearest future by way of commercializing gas flaring in oil producing communities.

This was the submission of the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva at the two-day Nigeria LPG Summit 2019 which ended in Lagos on Wednesday.

Delivering his Keynote address yesterday, the Minister, represented by his Technical Adviser, Gas Business and Policy Implementation, who doubles also as the Program Manager, Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP), Mr Justice Derefaka, revealed that “Globally, there are more than 16,000 flare sites in 90 countries, with Nigeria having around 178 flare sites. About 145 – 150 BCM gas is flared per year globally. In Nigeria, approximately 700 MMscf/d is flared in Nigeria making Nigeria the [7th] largest emitter of flared gas globally amongst the league of gas flare nations.”

“Ironically, the country suffers an acute energy crisis due to a large extent, to the inability of the gas sector to meet domestic demand for power generation and other gas utilization projects and this has severely constrained the country’s economic development. Oddly, Nigeria is utilizing approximately 700mmscf/d of gas for power production. This means Nigeria could actually double power production from gas flares.

Continuing, the Minister recalled that “In 2017, Nigeria flared ~324 BCF of gas, losing around US$1 billion dollars’ worth of economic potential to gas flaring (enough to generate around 3000 MW of power), and approximately US$350 million emission credit value.

However, he informed participants that the NGFCP has been developed as the strategy to implement the policy objectives of the Government for the elimination of gas flares from Nigeria’s oil fields in the near term with potentially enormous multiplier and development outcomes for Nigeria.

According to him, “The objective of the NGFCP is to eliminate gas flaring through technically and commercially sustainable gas utilization projects developed by competent third-party investors. The NGFCP could generate circa 600,000MT of LPG per year giving 6 million households access to clean energy through LPG.”

Sharing his thoughts on Nigeria’s energy future on the important role natural gas (and also LPG) can play, the Minister said “The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs’) which Nigeria is a signatory, epitomizes the world’s plan of action for smothering poverty while safeguarding the earth and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

“As a government, we have the key accountability to highlight and implement strategies to meeting the SDGs, remember also that the private sector and civil society will also play pivotal roles in the execution of Government plans. And as a government, we are relying significantly on businesses and investors in support of delivery. Hence all stakeholders – government, private sector, civil society and citizens alike need to be practically and constructively engaged to achieve the SDGs,” Sylva averred.

“In mapping the connections between the Summit “Harmonizing Development and Growth in Nigeria and Africa”; the oil and gas industry and the SDGs, I want to lay emphasis on SDG No. 7.  “Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy for All”. We all know that energy is a fundamental fulcrum of sustainable development, without which most of the other SDGs cannot be achieved.

“Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is essential for rewiring the Nigerian gas sector for economic growth; light up Nigeria and Africa, generate employment, basic education, poverty reduction, and health and safety. Nevertheless in 2015, records have it that about 1.1 billion people had no access to electricity. Additionally, in 2015, an estimated 2.8 billion people globally – 41% of the world’s population – had no access to modern energy sources and instead use solid fuels such as wood, charcoal and animal dung for cooking and heating.

The Minister however, argued that “The biggest challenge for all developing countries (including Nigeria) is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, modern energy, while moving towards a global energy system with net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

However, he argued that to achieve this, “A long-term strategy is needed which will include a substantial increase in the use of lower-carbon energy sources and renewable.”

Earlier in his welcome address, the President of Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA), Mr. Nuhu Yakubu, said the crafting of the theme for the summit; ‘LPG: Harmonizing Development And Growth in Nigeria and Africa,’ was done in a way and manner to effectively reflect the place of gas in current global economic equation.

He told Business Hilights in an exclusive interview that “What we doing as body is to bring together leading gas industry stakeholders from far and wide so as to begin to synergise experts and investors views towards creating a global gas industry every player will be proud of in Nigeria in particular and the African continent in general.

Also speaking to one of the leading players in Nigeria’s downstream gas business segment, the Retail Manager at CHIMONS Gas Group, Mr. Amaechi Okafor, he said his company had at sometime in Lagos, given out filled 3kg gas cylinder to deepen awareness across rural dwellers as a way of growing clean energy use.

He explained further that his company is willing to grow partnership with credible investors willing to drive effective use for domestic and industrial purposes so as to save our environment from issues of climate change crisis.

Giving insights on the importance of new improved pressure hose for gas and other liquids at the exhibition stands, the Director Marketing at Suraksha Products Private Ltd, India, Mr. Yusuf said hoses produced by his company met all international standards and are reliable for use without cases of tears and wears over time because of the metallic linings used in the production.