FG imposes N22bn fine on oil firms over gas flaring
Companies flared 19,14 billion SCF of gas in January and 14,04 billion SCF of gas in February 2023, contributing 1,3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and having the potential to generate 2,500 gigawatt-hours of electricity, according to report.
Companies operating offshore, on the other hand, flared 25,8 billion SCF of gas valued at $90 million; capable of generating 2,600 gigawatt-hours of electricity and equivalent to 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Specifically, offshore companies flared 10,84 billion SCF and 13,09 billion SCF of gas in January and February of 2023, respectively. NOSDRA did not specify how much offshore companies would be penalised for the flare.
In total, NOSDRA reported that 50,3 billion SCF of gas was flared, resulting in a loss of approximately N81 billion ($176 million) during the period under review.
In both months, the volume of gas flared was 11.9 percent less than the 57.1 billion SCF flared during the same period in 2022.
The oil spill remediation agency noted that the gas flared during the period under review was equivalent to carbon dioxide emissions of 2.7 million tonnes and has the potential to generate 5,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity, while the companies are liable for fines of $101 million, or N46 billion.
The NOSDRA report identified the affected companies as Shell Petroleum Development Company, which flared gas from Oil Mining Leases 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 22, 23, 26, 28, 30 and 39, among others; Nigerian Agip Oil Company, which flared gas from OML 61 and 62; and Chevron Nigeria, which flared gas from OML 49, 54, 95, among others.
Mobil Producing Nigeria, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Addax Petroleum Limited, Famfa Oil, and Elf Petroleum are among the additional affected companies.
NOSDRA lamented that despite efforts to reduce it, gas has been flared in Nigeria since the 1950s, releasing carbon dioxide and other gaseous substances into the atmosphere and causing ongoing environmental and health issues in oil-producing regions.
Prof. Olalekan Olafuyi, chairman of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Nigeria Council, stated that the Federal Government would increase penalties for gas flares as Nigeria races to meet its net zero commitment to the United Nations by 2060.
He did not specify how much the flare rates would increase, but he did say that the council was working closely with the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission on the issue.
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