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The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the new regulation on gas flaring, and as such the law has been gazetted.

Titled Flare Gas Prevention of Waste and Pollution Regulations 2018, the regulation will provide a legal framework to support the government's plan to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions through flaring and venting of natural gas.

THISDAY reported that under the regulations, the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP) would also be implemented.

The NGFCP would be in line with its objectives, introduce new payment regime or penalties for gas flaring. Read more: gas flaring affects bottom line

"The current meagre flare payments (penalties) of N10 per thousand standard cubic feet is increased, in the case of anyone producing 10,000 barrels of oil or more, to $2.0 per thousand standard cubic feet of gas and, in the case of anyone producing less than 10,000 barrels of oil per day, to $0.50 per thousand standard cubic square feet of gas,” read part of the regulation document.

Also, the regulation noted that there are mandatory additional payments by gas producers of $2.50 for failure to produce accurate flare data; failure to provide access to flares or flare sites; failure to sign a connection agreement.

It further stated that: “In the event of continuous or egregious breaches, there is a possibility of suspension of operations, or a termination of the producer's license.”

Limitations to the regulation

Media cited part of the regulation, which states that its contents are consistent with the dictates of Nigeria's Petroleum Act, which indicates that the government could take all flare gas free of cost at the flare and without payment of royalty.

According to THISDAY, an introductory note on the regulation stated that it now: “Prohibits flaring and venting of gas except further to a certificate issued by the minister (of petroleum resources) in limited circumstances”.

The gazetted regulation document is available here