Gas flaring in the news – November 2016

An expert has revealed Nigeria’s flaring problem is impacting the country’s ability to produce fertiliser, while Total has been awarded a key Ivory Coast LNG project that will see Ivory Coast become the first regional LNG importer in West Africa.  Meanwhile in the UK, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd has announced that natural gas will play a central role in the UK Government’s new energy policy.  In the US, President Obama has implemented a new rule to limit gas flaring on federal lands that will come into force just days before he leaves office.

Nigeria loses 30 million tonnes of fertiliser to gas flaring

A fertiliser specialist at the African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) has announced that Nigeria is losing more than 30 million tonnes of urea every year to excessive gas flaring.  Paul Makepeace said that urea is a critical component of fertiliser and that 98 per cent of the world’s fertiliser contains urea from natural gas.

Makepeace made his announcement at the Nigeria Fertiliser Roadmap Stakeholders Consultation meeting in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.  The meeting was themed ‘Fertiliser Value chain: impediment to growth’, and Makepeace discussed the potential for flared gas to be captured and made available to manufacturers and exporters.

According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Monthly Financial and Operations Report released in September 2016, Nigeria lost $535.07 million to gas flaring during the preceding nine months, due to oil companies flaring 176.59 billion Standard Cubic Feet (SCF) of natural gas.

Total awarded key LNG project

The Ivory Coast LNG Consortium, led by Total, has been awarded the rights to build and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Ivory Coast.  The operation will have the capacity to produce 3 million tons of LNG every year, which Total will supply to its global portfolio.  The project is expected to become operational in 2018.

Total will construct floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) in Abidjan, as well as a pipeline to connect the unit to local power plants and other regional markets.  When complete, Ivory Coast will become the first regional LNG importer in West Africa.

UK Government energy policy is pro-natural gas

On 18th November, then UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd delivered a speech to the Institution of Civil Engineers in London, explaining that power generation from natural gas will play a central role in the government’s new energy policy.

In her speech, Rudd set out her vision of an energy system that will put consumer security first.  Rudd discussed the creation of an independent Oil and Gas Authority, and explained the environmental consideration behind choosing gas as a central part of the new energy plan.

Natural gas produces half the carbon emissions of coal when used for power generation.  Rudd explained: “One of the greatest and most cost-effective contributions we can make to emission reductions in electricity is by replacing coal fired power stations with gas.”

New rule to limit Federal flaring

US President Barack Obama has implemented a new rule to reduce gas flaring on federal lands just two months before the end of his time in office.  As part of a strategy to address climate change, the government has estimated 40 per cent of gas flared or vented on public lands could be captured and sold.

The new rule modernises 30-year-old drilling regulations and will come into force in January 2017.  President-elect Donald Trump will be taking over from President Obama with a new Republican administration shortly after the rule comes into force, and while a repeal would take months to complete, Trump has stated an intention to increase drilling on federal lands.

December 12, 2016 | Flaring in the news

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