Thursday, 1 June 2017

Nigeria loses $2.5bn yearly to gas flaring – Senate

Nigeria loses $2.5bn yearly to gas flaring – Senate
The Senate on Wednesday declared that Nigeria is losing $2.5 billion yearly to gas flaring. This is just as it began moves to enact a legislation to outlaw gas flaring in the country.
At a public hearing on the Gas Flaring (Prohibition) Bill in the National Assembly, the Senate Committee on Gas Resources also lamented that gas flaring is creating so much health hazard.
Gas flaring has remained a major economic and environmental challenge since the discovery of oil in the 50s. Successive governments had only mouthed their disgust but failed serially to decisively tackle the issue. If the new initiative by the Senate is able to stop the practice, it will mark a paradigm shift in oil exploration and exploitation in the country.

Also, oil and gas producing communities have requested that money generated from gas flaring penalties be given to them to take care of the damage done. The representatives of the host communities led by Mike Emuh also want government to “determine the proportion of outstanding gas flaring penalty levies unpaid by the oil companies under the extant Act and pay same to the host communities.’’
The Chairman of the Committee, Bassey Akpan, noted that despite the huge concentration of gas reserves in Nigeria, issues of unsustainable exploration practices and the absence of gas utilisation infrastructure have promoted the dangerous practice of gas flaring in the country.
The Gas Prohibition Bill according to Akpan seeks to prohibit the development of oil and gas fields without a plan for the utilisation of Associated Gas (AG).
It also addresses the inadequacies of the 1985 Gas Reinjection Act while also bringing gas flare penalty in line with current economic realities.
The bill would ensure the achievement of the international flares-out target of January 1, 2030 as well as ensuring the timely review of gas flaring regulations and deployment of an online real time monitoring mechanisms.

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