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1bscf flared gas worrisome as stakeholders seek migration to renewable energy

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To ensure Nigeria fulfils its commitment to climate change agenda, and also increase access to clean energy by its citizens, the United Kingdom and other stakeholders in the sustainable energy industry have advocated improved energy mix with less focus on fossil fuel.

Besides, the Federal Government noted that although it recorded reduction in gas flaring through the commercialisation programme, flaring of one billion standard cubic feet (1bscf) of gas remains worrisome.

According to the stakeholders, 50 per cent of energy supply in Nigeria and other African countries is still based on coal and oil, a move contrary to the Paris agreement.

For instance, British Deputy High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, at the Energy Sustainability Conference organised by the Energy Institute, Nigeria, in Lagos yesterday, urged the Government to improve regulations and ease of doing business to attract investments to the renewable energy sector.

Thompson noted that while renewable energy is a pivot for UK investment, there is a need to move more businesses to more environmentally-sustainable practice, especially in the area of electricity generation.

She explained that the British Government has been able to reduce emission by 43 per cent, and would like to collaborate with Nigeria to achieve similar goals.

The Chief Executive Officer, Energy Institute, Louise Kingham, said there was a need for transformational approach in energy consumption in the country, hence the need for sustainable energy approach.

The Programme Manager, Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Program (NGFCP), Justice Derefaka, said Nigeria will be the third largest economy by 2050, hence, the need to make gas available for the growing economy.

He said there are over 178 flare locations across the Niger Delta, with about 324 bcf of gas being flared, adding that Nigeria used to be number two in the world in terms of gas flaring but now presently 7th.

“We want to go down even lower, and most preferably, out of relegation. We are recording a decline in the scale of gas flaring, but the volume of gas flaring in Nigeria is still worrisome,” he said.

According to him, 178 flare points collectively flare 1bscf of gas, and harnessing gas from top 50 flare points would reduce the volume flared by 80 per cent, given 2015 gas flare location and volumes as baseline.

The Deputy General Manager Gas Commercial, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, Mrs. Maryam Bala Shehu, said without infrastructure the country cannot get the gas to the upstream and down to the end users.

She added that there must be an available market for gas offtakers, saying: “If the target market is not profound enough, we will not have the economic basis to developing our production assets.”

“Despite government effort to make gas available, we are still not where we want to be. The market has to be there and it must also be robust. There is gas, but the market is not deep enough while the infrastructure to take gas to the market is also not available,” she added.

She advised that the segment of the value chain must not work in silo, also pointing the need to connect large gas reserves to strategic demand centres.

The General Manager, Gas, Seplat Okechukwu Mba, said the increase in gas flare penalty and increased investment in gas processing facilities has helped in reducing gas flaring, saying that gathering the gas is not enough, but processing it for specification is vital

The Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Gas, Ed Ubong, said it is not all gloom for the Nigerian gas market, even as he expressed optimism in the country’s ability to generate enough gas for industrial and domestic use.

According to him, many manufacturers are now running their industrial base on gas.


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