Despite Nigeria’s dwindling revenue occasioned by massive oil theft, the country has continued to suffer loss from its gas, as companies operating in the country’s petroleum industry flared 241.1 million standard cubic feet, MSCF, of gas in the first 11 months (January – November) 2023, according to latest data from the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency ( NOSDRA).

This represents 18.9 per cent increase when compared to 195.5 mscf of gas flared in the corresponding period of 2022.

NOSDRA put the value of the 241.1 MSCF flared in the said period of 2023 at $843.7 million, adding that going by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s, CBN current official exchange rate of N832.32/$, this translates to a loss of N702.2 billion potential revenue.

NOSDRA also stated that the defaulting companies were liable to fines totaling $482.1 million, an equivalent of N401.3 billion.

According to NOSDRA, the volume of gas flared during the period under review was equivalent to carbon dioxide emission of 673.1 thousand tonnes; and had a power generation potential of 24,100 gigawatts hour, GWh.

Providing a further breakdown of the volume of gas flared across oilfields, NOSDRA disclosed that companies operating offshore flared 132.9 mscf while companies operating onshore flared 108.1 mscf.

NOSDRA lamented that despite efforts to reduce gas flaring, it has continued in Nigeria since the 1950s, releasing carbon dioxide and other gaseous substances into the atmosphere.

This is even as the House of Representatives had promised to begin a probe into $2.5 billion annual loss to gas flaring.

However, the National Assembly is yet to reveal the update of its findings for about three months since its inquiry on the flare debacle.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government, had a couple of days ago, warned gas producers to stop discouraging awardees in the gas flare commercialisation programme from embarking on the project.

The Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, in his address at the post-award engagement between the NUPRC and producers operating assets under the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, stated that the commission would not accept any ploy by gas producers to dissuade successful awardees from embarking on the project.

The Federal Government, through the NUPRC, had issued relevant letters of award to 42 individual companies for all 49 flare sites on offer in September 2023.

Commenting on issues around the reduction in volumes of flare profile, Komolafe said, “Recall that the flare volumes on offer arose from several technical sessions with your respective teams based on historical performance and activity-based projections.

“It is therefore surprising to receive feedback from awardees on claims by some producers that the forecast gas volumes may not be available only a few months after.”

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