At present, reports indicate that oil companies in Nigeria produce over 4 billion standard cubic feet (scf) of gas daily, of which about 700 million scf are wasted through flaring.
To reduce this waste, the CEO and managing director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji revealed plans to invest in the biggest gas flare capture in the country.
According to the Guardian, Orji noted that: "From my last count, there are more than 300 major gas flare sights in Nigeria. Those from Port Harcourt can share their experience, especially if you drive towards Bayelsa, Yenogoa, the night is lit with flare gas everywhere. This has been flaring for decades; forget about the pollution, that's minor. The economic waste is incredible.”
Without sharing much details about the plans, he said: "The project we're about to execute…it's a project we're working with other partners, I don't want to disclose them at this stage, but we're taking one of the largest onshore gas flare sight, and turning it into liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) capture.
“We will take out the non-gas liquids C1 and C2, and turn them to LPG, then take the C1, C2 and send them to power plants.”
In September 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the new regulation on gas flaring, and it was gazetted, however, since then there hasn’t much progress reported.
To this end, Orji says NSIA’s intervention became imperative, noting that "the economic waste is mind-blowing".
He further explained: “The ultimate reason we are looking at LPG is this; the biggest challenge we're facing and part of the reasons we have conflicts, is climate change and deforestation. You see people they fell trees, burn them and sell the charcoal. Beyond the deforestation for charcoal export, are actually people cutting trees for plywood, which is why we want to boost LPG usage in Nigeria.”
Read more: Gas flaring – global plight, what now?
Gas flaring points
Meanwhile, a government steering committee Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), has commenced prequalification of over 250 companies that have submitted their expression of interest to bid for 178 flaring points across the crude oil production fields in the country.
The Deputy Director for gas at the Department of Petroleum Resources, Olusanya Bajomo told the Daily Trust that, "those who make it technically and financially will proceed to the next phase”.
“For the SOQ evaluation, the programme is designed in such a way that they pay $1,000 fee to be able to make the submission of the SOQ. This is to screen out those that may really not be very serious,” Bajomo stated.
Chairman of the committee, Rabiu Sulaiman, added: "Part of the processes, is the bidding exercise and various other steps that will ensure that only serious organisations participate.
“So we have succeeded in weeding out numbers of companies that may not be very serious. We will be guided to ensure that the ready and best qualified will take part in the exercise."