Gas Flaring Costs Nigeria Billions Monthly


Due to the inability of the Brass and Olokola liquefied natural gas companies to start operations and reduce revenue-sapping in the country, Nigeria loses N139.2 billion monthly to gas flaring.

The $20 billion Tran Saharan Gas Pipeline meant to reduce gas flaring, running from Nigeria to Algeria, which transports about 30 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Warri in Delta State through Niger Republic to Algeria, has also been stalled.

Nigeria is losing an average of 23.2 billion Standard Cubic Feet (SCF) of gas monthly to flaring. Using the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC’s) price of $3 per 1,000 scf of gas at the current exchange rate realities, the flaring of 23.2 bscf would translate to loss of $69.6 million, an equivalent of N139.2 billion.

In 2015, the country lost up to $814.14 million (about N162.8 billion) to gas flaring, reports the Guardian.

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Many projects proposed to assist in reducing gas flaring have either been delayed due to political interests or suspended by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) as a result of the declining crude oil prices.

Reports say investors are pulling out of the Brass and OK LNG projects as they are skeptical about signing final investment decision for any long period that spreads over 20 years when the coast and the parameters are not clear.

Nigeria may have to wait till 2030 when the World Bank’s global initiative to end routine gas flaring at oil production sites around the world, would have been implemented.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), reports that the Brass LNG with two trains and an output of 10 Metric Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) was expected to be on stream in the first quarter of 2009 while the Olokola (OK) LNG which is a four-train plant with an output of 20 mtpa was supposed to have the first two trains commissioned in 2009/2010.

Five years after the projects were initiated, there has been no serious commitment on the part of the investors to their take-off.

Government had committed to investing $20.3 billion (N40.6 trillion) equity in the development of the Olokola LNG in the South-West and the Brass LNG project in the South-South as part of efforts to monetize the gas resources.

Specifically, government’s equity investment in OK LNG was expected to take $9.8 billion and another $2 billion on the OK pipeline, which will take gas from fields in the Niger Delta to the South-West.

But the delay in passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), exit of ConocoPhillips from Brass LNG and the declining crude oil prices have stalled the possibility of taking a final investment decision.

The total of gas flared in 2015 was more than the quantity of the product supplied to power plants and to industries throughout the country.

Specifically, the country flared 26.68bcf of gas in January, 26.20 in February, 28.49 in March, 22.66 in April, 19.07 in May, 18.66 in June, 18.80 in July, 21.28 in August, 21.89 in September, 21.81 in October, 23.25 in November, and 22.59bcf in December, according to data from NNPC.

Information has it that from January to December 2015, a total of 2,656.08bcf of gas was produced, representing an average daily production of 7951.42 mmscfd during the period.

Production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) and NPDC contributed about 69.89 per cent, 21.88 per cent and 8.22 per cent respectively to the total national gas production.

Total gas supplies for the period January to December 2015 stand at 380.45 BCF and 1,241.56 BCF for the domestic and export market respectively.

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