By Dipo Olowookere
Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, has disclosed that the state-owned oil firm has embarked on the most aggressive expansion of the gas infrastructure network aimed at creating access to the market.
Mr Baru made this disclosure while delivering the lead paper on a panel session at the 50th Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), in Houston, United States of America.
According to him, the aggressive development of gas infrastructure (pipelines and processing plant) between supply sources and the market would create a sustainable evacuation route for currently flared gas and other gas sources.
During the programme, where the GMD spoke on the theme ‘Nigeria’s Gas Flare Commercialisation, Prospects & Opportunities,’ Mr Baru also announced a three-point smart strategy aimed at ending gas flaring in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
He said in the last decade, gas flaring in Nigeria had reduced significantly from 25 percent to 10 percent, pointing out that the multi-pronged approach taken by the NNPC would ensure a sustainable solution to the historical problem of flaring, thereby turning waste into dollars.
The 3-point strategy championed by NNPC to arrest the growth in gas flares includes ensuring non-submission of Field Development Plans (FDPs) to the Industry Regulator – the Department Petroleum Resources (DPR), without a viable and executable gas utilization plan, a move aimed at ensuring no new gas flare in current and future projects.
The other two strategies, Mr Baru added, were a steady reduction of existing flares through a combination of targeted policy interventions in the Gas Master-plan as well as the re-invigoration of the flare penalty through the 2016 Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP) and through legislation, that is, ban on gas flaring via the recent Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018.
This development, Mr Baru added, would not only see Nigeria dropping from being the second highest gas flaring nation in the world to seventh, it would also signify a major milestone in its gas commercialization prospects.
“Total flares have significantly reduced to current levels of about 800mmscfd and in the next 1-2 years we would have completely ensured zero routine flares from all the gas producers,” the GMD stated.
He said further that, “Today, we have completed and commissioned almost 600km of new gas pipelines thereby connecting all existing power plants to permanent gas supply pipeline. We are also currently completing the construction of the strategic 127km Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben gas pipeline – “OB 3” connecting the Eastern supply to the Western demand centres.”
Mr Baru further noted that aside looping Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS 2) gas pipeline projects to increase gas volume capacity to at least 2Bcf/day, the corporation has recently signed the contracts to kick off the 614Km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project, which on completion, would deliver gas to the ongoing power plants in the areas and revive the manufacturing industries in the northern part of the country.
He assured that there was evidence that the interventions undertaken by the corporation were working as gas supply to the domestic market is growing at an encouraging rate, having tripled from 500mmcf/d in 2010 to about 1500mmcf/d currently.
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