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Why Gas Flaring Deadline Is Hardly Met -Don

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When at last, the
Federal Government set the current deadline for the stoppage of gas flaring by oil exploration and development companies in the country, most Nigerians heaved  a sigh of relief that the disturbing issue of gas flaring would soon be a thing of the past, but surprisingly, many years after the Federal Government’s deadline, gas flames still dot oil-producing areas of the Niger Delta.
The Acting Director of Pollution Studies (IPS) of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Dr. Tubonimi Joseph Ideriah, identified some factors as being responsible for the deadlines not being adhered to.
He said, “There are many factors that contribute to why it is so. One, the operators find it difficult because when you stop the flaring, where do you channel the gas to? That arrangement or provision has not been made or put in place for them to divert the gas to such areas.”
“Again, like every other area in our system where laws are made and people flout the laws as good enforcement is lacking to follow up defaulters of these laws,” he said, noting that the laws are made but that people go behind to receive gratifications, they mellow down and allow unacceptable practices to continue unabated.
Dr. Ideriah expressed the belief that if properly followed up, the operators could definitely look for alternative ways of channeling the gas being flared such that it could be utilized.
The IPS director, who is an expert in Environmental Analytical Chemistry said that though he could not give the value of the nation’s wealth being wasted through gas flare figure-wise but that the nation is losing so much.
He advised that the new power companies that bought over Power Holding Companies of Nigeria (PHCN) could benefit if the gas being flared is channeled to them to solve the problem of gas shortage which they often complain about.
The expert regretted that apart from the huge wealth being wasted in flaring the gas, the environment is being polluted by the activities of unpatriotic Nigerians who sabotage the nation by vandalizing gas pipelines because of survival or agitations.
He advised that sabotaging the effort of government through vandalism of gas pipes should stop and Nigerians should be patriotic while to the agitators, the environmentalist advised them to channel their request to the appropriate quarters and give sometime for the government to attend to such requests. “But when you go the other way round to sabotage, you create problems for the community on behalf of whom may be you think you are fighting for because the environmental effects for such activities could be disastrous as the pollutants emitted into the air may linger for decades and children yet unborn could come to meet them.
The Niger Delta region, he said, is comparatively polluted basically because of the oil exploration and exploitation activities heavily going on in the area as there is no way such activities could be carried on in the area without the pollution associated with such economic activities.
“Since the advent of these oil companies in the Niger Delta, we began to see serious changes in the environment. For instance, houses that are in communities where you have oil exploration activities taking place, farmers and fishermen who managed to buy a bundle of zinc to build house, hoping that the house could be for life, but we have started experiencing fast decay of roofing sheets in most communities especially the riverine area”.
“The gases are mixed with the air that we breathe, so you can see that the air we breathe is polluted, the water we use from the River that we fish as Niger Deltans whose major occupation is fishing as we depend on it and once the river is polluted, whatever we get from the River is contaminated and once you take a contaminated seafood, definitely it gets to the food chain,” he explained.
Ideriah urged the Federal Government through the National Assembly to not only put in place necessary laws but to effectively implement such laws to the latter.
“It is a thing of development and therefore no well-meaning person will contest that these oil activities should stop,” he said but emphasised the need for adoption of international best practices.
These international best practices should be put in practice here also. What is obtained to make other developed places who are also oil exploiting and exploration countries live environmentally clean life should also be applied here,” he advised and wondered why a particular law could effectively work in such countries and not work here where they are operating similar activity.
“If a law is put in place, that law should also be implemented to the latter. There should be no question of short cuts because there are certain things you can’t caught corners without it telling on the system”, he continued.
Noting that we have some good laws because some of them were adopted  from some countries that have similar operations going on there and remarked that inefficiency in their implementations make them look as if they were different laws.
The IPS director accepted that quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is desirable for the nation and urged the National Assembly to pass the bill without further delay.
“There could be definitely a lot of proposals that were being made that would sanitise the sector, but we don’t know how effective these  proposals that have been made could be implemented. The first stage is for the bill to be passed because without passing it you cannot get to the stage of how effective the implementation would be”, he stated, stressing that whether they were playing politics with it would be know later.
The National Assembly, he said has committees to monitor its implementations but expressed hope that it would contain proposals geared towards sanitizing the industry.
Commenting on the institute, the Acting Director said, “IPS as the pioneer Institute for Environmental Studies in Nigeria, has done so much towards raising the standard and quality of environmental research in the region since its inception in 1982.
“The institute since its inception in 1982 has been living up to expectations especially in the Niger Delta. For example, the document that is being used in the whole of Nigeria by the Federal Ministry of Environment. In 1991, the institute was part of the team that worked to put those standards that guide operations”, he said.
Some of the major goals of IPS, he said, are to raise the standard and quality of environmental research in the region and to ensure utilization of such research findings in sustainable environmental management and development.
According to him, IPS has achieved those goals through the delivery of world class environmental research studies and reports and cited instances with Environmental Baseline Studies for Establishments of Control Criteria and Standards against Petroleum related Pollution in Nigeria (RPI) report of 1985 and the Niger Delta Environmental Survey (NDES) report of 2000.
He said while RPI covers all spectrum of the environment, Air, Aquatic and Terrestrial, NDES is a regional survey covering the nine states of the Niger Delta and noted that both reports were world class by every standard and were widely referenced document.
He, however, regretted that inspite of the fact that it was the foremost in Nigeria  some of the companies and establishments that were beneficiaries of our studies have changed their policies to what you could describe as lowest bidder kind of thing so that the lowest bidder is given the study job,” he said, remarking that before it was not like that as it was based on recognition and capability.

Ideriah

Ideriah

Christ Oluoh

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Oil & Energy

NNPCL Assures On OB3 Pipeline Completion

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has said the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Gas Pipeline would now be completed next quarter.
This is as the national oil company said it would continue to invest in the development of huge oil and gas infrastructure to make it easy for operators and prospective investors to carry out their business in Nigeria.
The Executive Vice President, Upstream, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, disclosed this at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), in Houston, Texas, United States of America.
Speaking at one of the panel sessions of a luncheon organised by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), with the theme: “Sustainable Energy Solutions for Africa’s Future (Nigerian Perspective)”, Eyesan stated that NNPC Ltd.’s objective was to ensure that there is a healthy balance of energy sources in the country.
She explained that though the oil and gas sector is not where it ought to be, much progress had been made between last year’s edition of the OTC in terms of opening up the sector for investments and infrastructural development.
While identifying funding as the major challenge impeding the development of the sector, Eyesan listed some of the bright spots in the industry to include the Executive Orders signed by the President to open up the sector, the imminent resolution of the assets divestment by the International Oil Companies (IOCs), and the aggressive execution of gas infrastructure projects such as the OB3 Gas Pipeline, which she said would be completed in the next quarter.

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TotalEnergies Targets 100 Startups In 2024

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As part of its support to businesses in Nigeria and Africa,  TotalEnergies Nigeria has launched the 2024 edition of its Startuppers challenge.
By this, the multinational aims at empowering 100 businesses across 32 African countries with N8 million cash prize, personalised coaching, and media representation.
The year’s edition of the challenge, launched virtually at an event attended by the Managing Director of TotalEnergies Nigeria Plc, Dr. Samba Seye, and other executives of the energy company, Last Thursday, would be used to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the multinational.
Presenting the form of this year’s competition, the General Manager, Total Country Service, TotalEnergies, Mrs Adesua Adewole, said registration for the challenge would open on May 13th and close on June 18th, 2024.
Adewole explained that 100 startups would be selected at first before 5 finalists would be selected, adding that the shortlisted businesses would pitch to a jury made of experts who would select winners across three categories.
“In December, we will have 100 businesses to celebrate in Africa. In past edition, we had  only six winners who were invited to Paris but this year, we will have 100 winners who will be going to selected location where they will be celebrated”, she said.
Adewole stated that Africa was special to TotalEnergies, hence the focus.
In her words, “Africa is special to us. When you look at Africa, our youths make up 60%.  They are the ones who will develop he continent, so we streamlined this to them to help them develop their businesses or ideas, scale up and become the business leaders of tomorrow.
“The aim of this 4th edition is to support and encourage young African entrepreneurs to innovate and bring their projects to reality in their country of application”.
Explaining further, the Country Communications Manager, TotalEnergies Nigeria, Dr Charles Ebereonwu, said “we have not attained 100 years before.
“Apart from celebrating 100 years, we have introduced new dimensions like your empowerment of women and equality. All entries will be subjected to whether they take into consideration these dimensions”.
Targeted by the challenge are startups less than three years old or pioneering a business idea with a positive impact on their communities and/or the planet.
“The aim of this 4th edition is to support and encourage young African entrepreneurs to innovate and bring their projects to reality in their country of application”, a statement from the firm said.

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Oil & Energy

TCN Targets Power Restoration To North-East, May 27

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has said electricity supply will be fully restored to the North-East by May 27.
TCN’s spokesperson, Ndidi Mbah, who disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen, weekend, said the commission’s contractors were working to erect four new transmission towers along the Jos-Gombe axis, to enable the restoration of power supply to States in the North-East region of the country.
Recall that TCN had on April 23, said four of its towers along the Jos–Gombe 330 kilo volt (kV) transmission line were vandalised, affecting electricity supply to Gombe, Damaturu, Maiduguri, Yola, Bauchi, and Jalingo.
“The tower collapse affected Gombe, Damaturu, Maiduguri, Yola, Bauchi and Jalingo. Immediately after the incident, however, TCN engineers worked first to redistribute available bulk supply on the Jos, Bauchi, Gombe 132kV line between Jos and Yola Discos, while work commenced immediately at reconstructing the four vandalised towers”, the commission said.
It continued that “Presently, we are rebuilding the four towers simultaneously. Progress is evident, with one tower nearing 80% completion, another at 60%, a third at 30%, and dismantling work finished on the fourth tower”.
Additionally, she said, “tower members” are being fabricated and assembled on-site to expedite work, adding that TCN is dedicated to the quick restoration of bulk power on the line route.
“Construction work on the Jos – Gombe transmission line, taking supply up to Damaturu and environs will be completed and energized by the 20th of May, 2024, while the Damaturu – Maiduguri axis will be completed on the 27th of May, 2024.
“Expectedly, bulk power transmission would be fully restored on the affected 330kV transmission line by the 27th of May. Yola and Jos DisCos would also be able to offtake and distribute optimally from TCN substations.
“For now, only 38MW is wheeled to both Jos and Yola Distribution companies, with each receiving 19MW each. Efforts to take some of the available power to Jalingo was hampered by very high voltage on the line, which could cause a system disturbance”.
According to the spokesperson, TCN is aware of the inconveniences caused by the current insufficient power supply through Yola and Jos DisCos to electricity customers in the affected states.
Mbah further said the company pledged to earnestly expedite work on the towers to guarantee that the towers are completed within the specified time frame.

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