Gas flare in Nigeria’s oil fields fell by 0.33 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 to 45.33billion cubic feet, BCF, compared to 45.48BCF of gas flared in the fourth quarter of last year; latest data from the industry have shown.
Data also showed that on a year-on-year basis, gas flare dropped by 21.75 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 from the 57.93BCF recorded in the first quarter of 2020.
According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), monthly report for February, 2021, data also showed that in 24 months, from March, 2019 to February, 2021, a total of 430.97BCF of gas have been flared.
This is equivalent to 1,720 Giga Watts of power lost in two years, according to power generation expert, Dr Stephen Ogaji of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited.
As part of the effort to curb gas flaring in the country, the Federal Government in December, 2016, launched the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation programme.
The NGFCP was designed as the strategy to implement the policy objectives of the government for the elimination of gas flares with potentially enormous multiplier and development outcomes for Nigeria.
The objective of the NGFCP is to eliminate gas flaring through technically and commercially sustainable gas utilization projects developed by competent third-party investors who will be invited to participate in a competitive and transparent bid process for flare sites.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), which manages the programme, in a statement explained that the commercialisation approach has been considered from legal, technical, economic, commercial and developmental standpoints.
“It is a unique and historic opportunity to attract major investment in economically viable gas flare capture projects whilst permanently addressing a 60-year environmental problem in Nigeria.
“The NGFCP has offered flare gas for sale through a transparent and competitive bidding process.
“A structure has been devised to provide project bankability for the Flare Gas Buyers, which is essential to the success of the programme”.
Latest data from the programme, according to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), showed that so far 203 companies have been awarded the right to process flared gas from the 178 gas flared sites.
Speaking on the programme at the weekend, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr BitrusNabasu, noted that despite the slow pace of progress, the Federal Government was determined to end gas flares in the country.
“The process is still on and our intention is to reduce gas flaring as much as possible so that the environment will be safe for us. The process is on and very soon it will be concluded”, he explained.
DPR in its gas flare regulation stated that “flare payments shall apply to any natural gas that is flared and/or vented at the production facilities of the producers”.
Figures from the 2019 Oil and Gas Audit Report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), showed that companies paid $307,591 in 2019 as gas flare penalties in the country.
In an interview with newsmen, GNPC Petroleum Commerce Chair in Oil and Gas Studies, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, Prof. WumiIledare, said a lot of investment was needed to end gas flaring in the country.
Iledare, however, observed that gas flaring has gradually gone down in the past few years, accounting for less than 10 per cent of total gas production.
He explained that “there are some gas flaring that cannot be eliminated if you have to keep things running but we must give credit to the Department of Petroleum Resources with respect to gas flaring.
“It is below 10 per cent right now. I still understand that is still the equivalent of about 3,000megawatts of electricity generation”.
He noted that “the investment required to be able to get gas to end-users is massive and it is going, to begin with, a good perception of public policy.
“Unfortunately, the perception of the Public Policy Index, PPI, is still very low. And until governance of the oil and gas industry is properly defined and all these amorphous regulatory agencies well defined, a risk-averse person will not invest in this type of business environment.
“This gas flaring that people are talking about, the opportunity cost to taking the gas to end-users is massive and there must be guarantee return on investment. If it is not there nobody will invest”, he added.
Speaking on the gas flare situation, the President of the Nigerian Association of Energy Economics (NAEE), Prof YinkaOmorogbe, noted that the Federal Government must demonstrate the political will to end gas flaring in the country by first ending the use of gas flare penalty as a source of revenue.
Omorogbe stated that the penalty must be seen as a punitive measure and strong enough to deter companies from flaring gas.
According to her, “We have to have the political will to not flare gas even if it means shutting down certain fields that are producing right now.
“Secondly, you have to seriously pursue your gas utilization projects and ensure that the gas utilization projects are using up associated gas that would otherwise be flared.
“Thirdly, you need to ensure that you don’t turn the associated gas penalties into money-making ventures but instead make them incredibly punitive. So punitive that it is better to shut down than to flare.
“So, the first thing is the political will to say I really don’t want this flaring anymore. Once you do that everything else will fall into place.
“It is going to cost us something first in the beginning but there has to be the determination to end it. It will also help us to reduce carbon emission on one side to offset emission on another side”, she explained.
On his part, the Director, Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law, University of Ibadan,Prof. AdeolaAdenikinju, also stated that the Federal Government must demonstrate the will to end gas flaring in the country.
Adenikinju held that once there is political will and clear policy to end gas flare, it would create incentives for investment because it will create opportunities for infrastructure that would utilize the gas.
“The government must create incentives for private capital to go in and create investments that would support infrastructure and utilization of the gas because it doesn’t pay you to shut down production and get zero production because you are flaring. So, you have to create solutions and those solutions are created by the market.
“So once, the policy is there and there is the conviction that the policy is not going to be reversed it automatically generates incentives for private capital investments and infrastructure that will also follow. That is the starting point, we must be ready to want to end gas flaring”, he stressed.
Rotary Club Donates Security Post To Benin Custodial Centre
This is contained in a statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSC Aminu Suleman, which was made available to The Tide’s source, weekend, in Benin.
Suleman said the donation was in furtherance of the long existing partnership to support the Custodial Centre in the attainment of the mandate of securing inmates in custody.
The PRO noted that the project was initiated by the Officer In Charge of the Centre, DCC Sikiru Balogun.
According to the statement, the outgoing President of the Club, Rotarian Joseph Ogbemi, “Benin Custodial Centre has long been registered as our pet projects Centre.
“The club will continue to support the Custodial Centre, in spite of several signature projects already donated to it”.
While inaugurating the project, the Controller of Corrections, Ogwude Charles, expressed appreciation to the Club for its humanitarian activities and regular support to the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).
The Controller, represented by the Officer In Charge of the Custodial Centre, DCC Balogun, assured that the project would be put to good use.
He called on the public to partner with the Service for the good of the society.
Present at the event were the President-elect of the Club’s Chapter, Rotarian Cash Nehizena, and the Vice President, Rotarian Edugie Mabel.
Edo Begins Bush Clearing In Public Places
The State Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Jonathan Lawani, told The Tide’s source yesterday that the exercise was aimed at achieving a clean and healthy environment.
According to him, government wishes to take a lead in ensuring bushes in both public and private places in the state are cleared as the rains get intensified.
“As they say, leadership is by example. What we are doing today is to pass a message that cleanliness is next to Godliness, and for this rainy season, we must ensure we clear our environment.
“We know rain comes with grasses growing everywhere with its effect of flood, erosion and bushes in our surroundings.
“We take the initiative to show to the people of Edo that we can do it by maintaining cleaning and healthy environment by clearing the grasses in our environment to ensure Edo State becomes a clean state for all.
“This is a continuous exercise all through the season of rain. For private places, our health and safety officers are going round to serve abatement notice to those who are not clearing the front of their premises.
“We are clearing public places that are government facilities and the roads across the city. I believe you went to Uselu road all through, to University of Benin and the surroundings in the GRA,” he said.
Lawani, an engineer, noted the ministry had directed a similar exercise in all local government areas in the state through the appropriate ministry and organs of government.
“As part of the initiative, we are going to be championing the cleanest city or cleanest local government in Edo state.
“We want to start it during this rainy season, so it becomes a culture and part of our activities on a yearly basis,” the commissioner said.
He also urged the public to ensure proper waste disposal, planting of grasses, flowers and trees during the season to mitigate the effect of climate change in the state.
Varsity Seeks Endowment Fund For Research
The Tide’s source reports that the institution said on Friday that its focus would be on solving developmental challenges and the advancement of the society.
The university made this known at the 2nd Annual Public Lecture of the Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences in a lecture titled, “Utilising Untapped Research Funding Opportunities: An Imperative for Innovative Research in the University System”, which was intended to enlighten stakeholders on the need for financial support for the institution.
The Dean, Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences, Prof. Francis Sikoki, in his address of welcome, said the university’s catchment was bedevilled by many challenges, which could be addressed through research.
He listed such challenges to include flood and erosion, the menace of waterborne diseases, resource depletion occasioned by pollution and environmental degradation.
“Unfortunately, despite the large pool of experts in various disciplines in the university system, the paucity of funds to carry out problem-solving researches has been a major constraint.
“Fortunately, there is a large number of research funding sources which are not being adequately explored.
“One of such areas is the establishment of an endowment fund dedicated to research funding. This is precisely the reason for this public lecture being held today, first to create awareness and secondly to mobilise resources for research”, Sikoki said.
The guest lecturer, who s the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Dr Godknows Igali, stressed the need for universities to seek alternative funding.
He said public sector funding of the country’s university system was on the decline.
He suggested that apart from endowments, research funding could also be sourced from alumni bodies, partnership with industry, accessing development funding, university linkages, through putting-on the entrepreneurial cap and adoption of blending approach to funding research, among other sundry sources.
Igali, while advising the university’s management to be innovative, said: “The question ahead of us is where does the University of Africa want to belong?
“My submission would be we should be on the right side of history, of being a national problem solver and a much sought after institution around the world.
“It is our disposition towards today that would determine where the University of Africa will be in terms of its relevance in the global education market. But then as the saying goes, it is impossible to make an omelette without breaking eggs, “ he said.
Igali said this would require innovation and creativity from the university’s management.
“For this, as stated earlier, the university must be able to recruit and have the right calibre of staff who can handle this highly specialised duties of raising funds from multiple sources.
“This is because it would be difficult for a researcher to be the one who has the responsibility of carrying out investigation and studies and at the same time be saddled with the hunt for resources,” he said.
In his remarks, Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, called on federal agencies such as the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to support the State in the funding of research projects by its tertiary institutions.
The Governor, represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, also implored the state-owned tertiary institutions to redouble their efforts to tap research funds lying idle at the NCDMB and other public-spirited corporate bodies.
He emphasised the importance of research in tertiary education and the overall development of society, noting that what makes an educational institution to stand out is the quality of its research works.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of UAT, Prof. Kingston Nyamapfene, said the public lecture was a clarion call on all stakeholders, especially government, to invest more resources in research and development to meet the manpower needs of the university system and society at large.
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