Nigeria has ranked fifth amongst countries in the world to have flared (burnt off) the highest volume of gas per day, an improvement against its second position held in 2011. The report, according to U.S State Energy Information Administration, EIA, puts the cost of the country’s associated gas production flared in 2015 at 379 billion cubic feet, bcf, about 12 per cent of its gross production.
A gas flare site in Niger Delta However, oil output has fallen to a 20-year low in the country as militants’ attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta persist. According to the energy agency, although Nigeria flares a significant portion of its gross natural gas production, the amount being thrown up has reduced by more than 50 per cent over the past decade. EIA hinted that a number of recently developed and upcoming natural gas projects that are focused on monetising previously flared natural gas are already in place.
The agency also stated that a significant amount of Nigeria’s gross natural gas production is flared because some of the country’s oil fields lack the infrastructure needed to capture the natural gas produced with oil, known as associated gas. The report stressed that “The federal government has been working to end natural gas flaring for several years, but the deadline to implement the policies and fine oil companies has been repeatedly postponed, with the most recent deadline being December 2012.
“In 2008, the Federal Government developed a Gas Master Plan to promote investment in pipeline infrastructure and new gas-fired power plants to help reduce gas flaring and provide more gas.”