Nigeria’s current power generation capacity can be ramped up with additional 3,000 megawatts of electricity if the federal government can harness the amount of gas being flared at 139 flare locations of the Niger Delta, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said.
This is just as the agency in one of its report disclosed that in 2017, it contributed N748 billion to the national treasury, from oil tax and royalties, representing 83 per cent of its target for the year.
With the country sitting at the seventh position in the global gas flaring index, with 11 per cent of its gas production flared routinely and non-routinely, the federal government through the National Gas Flare Commercialisation programme (NGFC) is targeting to achieve a zero gas flaring milestone by 2020.
Delivering a paper at the just concluded workshop for energy correspondents in Lagos, organised by the DPR, an official from the agency’s Gas Monitoring and Regulation unit, Mr. Olawoleola Ogunsola, pointed out that Nigeria’s potential to light up Africa was realistic if it can leverage its gas resources.
He said, “As at January one, 2017, our national gas reserve was 198.74 trillion cubic feet (tcf). We are trying to meet the 600tcf in future. 11 per cent of our national gas production is flared which is about 888 tonnes of standard cubic feet per day.”
According to him, the solution to gas flaring is for government to construct pipelines to bring the gas being flared into one position for commercialisation; find markets for gas flared in the country, stressing that, that was the purpose and mission of the NGFC programme.
“We made a mistake with the programme in the past because we allocated flare sites to companies without both technical and financial capacityto harness them.
“However, things have changed because DPR is now making sure those who got earlier allocations have everything it takes to take the gas into the market for sale”, he said.
He noted that government would be responsible for finding market for gas currently being flared unlike in the past, and harped on the need
to make gas exploration in the country more attractive to investors.