From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) at the weekend inaugurated a 12-member Flare Gas Commercialisation Programme Team whose responsibility will be to drive the process and coordinate the Flare Gas Commercialisation Programme towards the Federal Government’s initiative to end gas flaring by 2025.
Gas flaring in the oil and gas industry has continued to be a menace which needs to be eradicated because of its adverse effect on the environment and the people. The wasteful disposal of natural gas is not only fraught with serious health/environmental consequences but is also a major resource waste and value erosion to the country.
Against this backdrop, the Federal Government declared the period 2021 to 2030 as the “Decade of Gas”, a period within which the nation must shift focus from oil-centred exploitation to gas driven industrial development.
Even though the World Bank has set 2030 as the target year to end gas flaring, Nigeria has not only set a country deadline for 2025, President Muhammadu Buhari made a commitment towards the Paris Agreement during the COP26 Leaders’ Summit to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2060.
In 2016, the Federal Government initiated the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) to end flaring of natural gas by oil companies operating in the country. Although the initiative was well-received by stakeholders and industry watchers, unforeseen constraints truncated its execution.
At the inauguration of the Flare Gas Commercialisation Programme Team in Abuja at the weekend, NUPRC’s Chief Executive, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, stated that monetising gas resources is a positive step towards guaranteeing energy security, especially in the global energy transition period. He said as a nation, Nigeria must ensure that it harnesses all available gas resources for value creation.
He announced that NUPRC is recommencing the process of issuing flare sites to technically competent companies, following a competitive bid process. This process has become crucial in view of the policy direction of the Federal Government to ensure all gas resources are developed for National development. The Commission is currently carrying out a study in conjunction with external technical resources to identify suitable flare sites for the auction process. It was for the purpose that the committee of staff of the Commission was inaugurated to drive the process and coordinate implementation of the programme.
The steering committee members are K.O. Ofoegbu and O.I. Anyanechi; while A.T. Adeyiga, J.O. Ogunsola, J.C. Anyanwu, A.O. Okwah, O.E. Oje, N.E. Odega, K. R. Abisoye, J. C. Echendu, C. I. Chukwukaelo and G. L. Umoru form the programme team.
The committee is expected to carry out its mandate bearing in mind the over-arching significance of the programme to the socio-economic well-being of the nation.
The Chief Executive appreciated the support from the USTDA, USAID and other stakeholders and reiterated the Commission’s commitment towards ensuring that the programme is expeditiously executed. The inauguration was witnessed by a delegation from USAID comprising Mr Oladiran Adesua, Jennifer Ifeanyi Okoro and Andrew Smith.