In a recent interview, Nigeria’s President announced approval of the country’s new Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations. These will be implemented under the wider National Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP).
While the interview stated Nigeria loses approximately $1 billion of revenue to gas flaring every year, other sources have put the figure closer to $10 billion. The main cause being a lack of infrastructure to capture and commercialise flare gas in the country.
A national programme
Nigeria sees its elimination of routine flaring as an opportunity for commercial gain. The NGFCP was created to attract third party investors from across the world to come and utilise the country’s excess natural gas.
Flaring occurs when oil and gas companies are unable to safely store or transport natural gas, instead burning it and releasing CO2 emissions. The NGFCP identified more than 170 flare sites in Nigeria that collectively flare approximately 330 billion standard cubic feet (bscf) per year.
If harnessed correctly, this gas could provide 450,000 metric tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to more than four million Nigerian households. A thriving LPG economy could create hundreds of thousands of jobs and positively impact the environment, eliminating 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
What has already been achieved?
To move forward the NGFCP will need strong partnerships with other countries and a clear approach to investment, with governmental support and new legislation in place, however the NGFCP has already made progress by:
- Analysing the source of excessive routine flaring at sites across Nigeria
- Recommending programmes that outline the economics, necessary purchases and funding options for oil and gas companies
- Developing a roadmap of timelines and milestones, including a deadline to eliminate routine flaring by 2020
- Identifying potential investors and technology solutions
A short road ahead
Originally experts questioned the validity of the NGFCP strategy, claiming a law could not be passed by Nigeria’s National Assembly in just two years. However with the President’s approval, Nigeria expects to be able to announce the first round of bidding for flare gas towards the end of September this year.
Approximately $3.5 billion worth of inward investments will be required to eliminate routine flaring in Nigeria by 2020, according to the President. Investors are already showing interest, with Aliko Dangote – one of Africa’s most influential figures – agreeing to invest US $650 million into Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
Working on such a short timescale, Nigeria will need to effectively monitor and measure its natural gas. Fluenta’s FGM 160 Flare Gas Meter uses ultrasonic technology to provide accurate flare gas measurement, enabling operators to better track emissions data for clear and accurate reporting.
For more information on Fluenta’s FGM 160 Flare Gas Meter, click here.