‘Local content policy attracts N1.8tr investment’
The Federal Government has lost N523 billion to gas-flaring between 2015 and 2016, data from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has shown.
While DPR figures showed $850 million (N306 billion) loss to gas-flaring in 2015, NNPC latest report put losses to gas-flaring in 2016 at N217 billion. According to the NNPC, oil and gas firms flared a total of 244.84 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas in the whole of 2016.
Besides, the country has lost $14.298 billion between April 2008 and October 2016, which the International Oil Companies (IOCs) failed to pay as penalty for gas-flaring.
In a similar vein, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), in its latest oil and gas audit report, has said that oil firms operating in the country have failed to abide by the regulation stipulating penalty of $3.5 for every 1,000scf of gas flared in the country.
Efforts to get the IOCs to state the reasons for non-payment of penalty were successful as none of them was willing to comment on the issue. But the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said that the Federal Government would set up an independent tracking mechanism to ascertain the actual volume of gas being flared in the country.
He said: “There is an urgency to drive the policy that will enable us get out of gas-flaring. We are putting up an independent tracking mechanism not relying on figures from the IOCs and the DPR to find out really what is the flare volume. My feeling is that there is a lot of management of those figures to suit the cap of the penalties being charged for gas-flaring.”
Also, Deputy Director and Head, Upstream, DPR, Pat Maseli, while speaking at the 10th yearly sub-Saharan Africa oil and gas conference in Houston Texas, said that the high level of gas-flaring had led to a loss of 3,500 megawatts of electricity and about $400 million carbon credit value.
She expressed worries over the scale of gas-flaring in the country. In another development, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Management Board, Simbi Wabote, has said that the content development initiative in the last six years attracted investment of over $5 billion (N1.8 trillion) into the country’s oil and gas sector.
Speaking at the Nigeria content investment forum organised by SweetcrudeReports, in conjunction with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and Guardian Newspapers Limited at the sideline of the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, Wabote said that the policy had enabled indigenous companies to build capacity of international standards.
He said that gas-flaring has affected the environment and human health, leading to economic loss. Wabote, who disclosed that complete fabrication and manufacturing of equipment for the modular refineries would be done in Nigeria, said that the 100 per cent local fabrication of modular refinery would be done to meet international standard.