Nigeria To End Gas Flaring In 2020 Before Un 2030 Deadline

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SAN FRANCISCO, March 14, (THEWILL) – Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN., has disclosed that the Federal Government has set an earlier national target of 2020 to end gas flaring in the country even as it intends to sign the United Nations Agreement on Zero Routing Gas Flaring by 2030.

Speaking today at the opening of the 6th African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition representing President Muhammadu Buhari, the Vice President, who declared the conference opened, said ending gas flaring was imperative for African oil producers considering the amount of waste involved.

Addressing legislators, oil and energy ministers, policy makers and oil and gas industry experts from around the continent at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, Osinbajo observed that with the present volatility in the industry, the coming years would be defining for African oil and gas producing countries.

He explained that the incremental use of gas in Africa's energy mix has become imperative stressing that African countries must take advantage of the gas-to-power potentials.

“There is also the gas-to-power challenge in many member-states and the paradox of much gas but precious little gas to fire power plants,” he said.

“It's time to take a much further stand on gas flaring, both from environmental and a waste-of-needed-resources perspectives.

“If Africa must meet her future energy needs, the issue of the development of a robust gas infrastructure must be jointly addressed.”

According to him, of the over 150 billion cubic meters of associated gas flared annually in the world, “Africa flares an estimated 40 billion cubic meters, while about half of that is flared by Nigeria.”

He further observed that Nigeria has the 7th largest deposit of gas in the world with reserves estimated at over 185 trillion cubic feet (TCF), and also the highest quality.

Expressing the need for African oil producing countries to take their destiny in their hands, Prof. Osinbajo challenged African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA) member-countries to recognize the latent and huge resources in Africa and develop the strategy for the development of domestic refining capacity in the oil and gas critical for sustainable economic growth.

“We must explore mechanisms to expand regional refining capacities in an efficient and cost effective manner”, he submitted, recalling Nigeria's active involvement in the West African pipeline project expected to deliver clean, safe natural gas from Nigeria to countries in the sub-region.

While commending the organizers of the conference, the Vice President described the theme of the meeting- “Positioning African Petroleum For Global Development and Value Addition” as apt because hydro carbon accounts for a significant proportion of government revenue and could help address the challenge of gas-to-power for energy generation.

In his welcome remarks, the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and President of APPA, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu stated that the conference was timely coming at a critical period when the industry was experiencing price volatility. He observed that the situation is of global concern threatening oil and gas investments, but also creating opportunities for new energy sources.

Story by David Oputah