The Senate on Wednesday mandated its Committee on Gas to immediately review and recommend upwards penalty for defaulters of Nigeria’s Gas flaring laws.
The upper chamber reached the resolution after consideration of a motion titled: “The need to monitor the Nigerian Flare Commercialization Programme towards ending Gas Flaring by 2020.”
The Senate, accordingly, directed its Committee on Gas, Chaired by Senator James Manager (PDP, Delta South), to monitor the implementation of the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP).
It also urged the Federal Government to intensify efforts to diversify from crude oil to natural gas production.
Sponsor of the motion, Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers West), while drawing the attention of the Senate to laws against flaring of associated natural gas in Nigeria, lamented the manner in which such laws are disregarded by International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria.
According to the lawmaker, Section 3(1) of the Gas Re-injection Act introduced in 1984, states that “no company engaged in the production of oil and gas shall after January 1, 1984 flare gas produced in association with or without the permission in writing of the minister.”
Apiafi who bemoaned the huge revenue loss due to unrelenting gas flares in the country, disclosed that in 2018 alone, according to data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Federal Government recorded a revenue loss to the tune of N197 billion from a total of 215.9 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas flared.
She noted further that “Nigeria has the largest Natural Gas Reserve in Africa and the ninth-largest in the world.
“Nigeria’s gas reserves are about three times the value of her crude oil reserves with a value of around 202 trillion cubic feet (TFT) of proven Natural gas reserves, but despite having the largest gas reserves in Africa, only about 25 percent of these reserves are being produced or under development today.”
The lawmaker added that the lack of enforcement of the laws on gas flaring in previous years is thwarting the Federal Government’s projected deadline of 2020 to end routine associated gas flaring.