NNPC Aims To End Gas Flare in Two Years, Increase Gas Commercialization Instead
The group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, announced a three-point smart strategy aimed at ending gas flaring in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. Baru made the announcement while delivering the lead paper on a panel session at the recently held Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
Speaking on the theme: “Nigeria’s Gas Flare Commercialization, Prospects & Opportunities,” Baru explained that in the last decade, gas flaring in Nigeria had reduced significantly from 25% to 10%. He said the multipronged approach taken by the NNPC would ensure a sustainable solution to the historical problem of flaring, thereby turning waste into dollars.
The three-point strategy championed by NNPC to arrest the growth in gas flares:
- Ensuring nonsubmission of field development plans to the industry regulator—the Department of Petroleum Resources, without a viable and executable gas utilization plan. This move aimed at ensuring no new gas flare in current and future projects.
- Ensuring a steady reduction of existing flares through a combination of targeted policy interventions in the Gas Master Plan.
- A reinvigoration of the flare penalty through the 2016 Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialization Programme and through legislation, that is, ban on gas flaring via the recent Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018.
These developments are expected to not only see Nigeria dropping from being the second-highest gas flaring nation in the world to seventh, but also signify a major milestone in its gas commercialization prospects.
“Total flares have significantly reduced to current levels of about 800 MMcf/D and in the next 1–2 years we would have completely ensured zero routine flares from all the gas producers,” said Baru.
NNPC has embarked on the most aggressive expansion of the gas infrastructure network aimed at creating access to the market. Baru listed initiatives undertaken by the company to expand the gas infrastructure:
- Almost 600 km of new gas pipelines were commissioned connecting all existing power plants to permanent gas supply pipelines.
- The construction of the strategic 127-km Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben gas pipeline (OB 3) connecting the eastern supply to the western demand centers is being completed.
- Looping of the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS 2) gas pipeline projects to increase gas volume capacity to at least 2 Bcf/D.
- Recent signing of contracts to kick off the 614-km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project, which on completion, would deliver gas to the ongoing power plants in the areas and revive the manufacturing industries in the northern part of the country.
Baru said that the aggressive development of gas infrastructure (pipelines and processing plant) between supply sources and the market would also create a sustainable evacuation route for currently flared gas and other gas sources.
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