Nigeria lost N843bn in 20 months to gas flaring – NOSDRA

Between January 2022 and August 2023, the Nigerian government suffered a significant financial loss of about N843 billion due to the burning of natural gas, as revealed by data from the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).

In its latest report on gas flaring, NOSDRA disclosed that oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria burned a substantial amount of gas during this period.

From January to August 2022, they burned 147.1 billion standard cubic feet (SCF) of gas, valued at $514.9 million.

Furthermore, during the same period in 2023, these companies burned even more gas, totaling 171.1 billion SCF, valued at about $599 million, or N453 billion.

This amounts to a combined loss of approximately N847 billion between the corresponding periods in the previous and current years.

According to the report, the volume of gas burned during the first eight months of 2023 was 16.28 percent higher compared to the same period in 2022.

This wasted gas had the potential to generate a substantial amount of electricity, approximately 17,100 gigawatts per hour, while also emitting 9.1 million tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The report also highlighted that the responsible companies could face penalties totaling $342 million, or around N251 billion, although a significant portion of these penalties have not been collected by the Federal Government.

In comparison, the oil spill remediation agency reported that, between January and August 2022, oil companies faced penalties of approximately $294 million (N223 billion) for oil spills.

The wasted gas in 2022 could have generated 14,700 gigawatt-hours of electricity and led to carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to 7,800 metric tonnes.

Some of the companies responsible for gas flaring, according to NOSDRA, include Shell Petroleum Development Company, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Chevron Nigeria, Mobil Oil, Elf Petroleum Nigeria, Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Addax Petroleum, Texaco Overseas (Nigeria), Cromwell, South Atlantic Petroleum, and others.

These companies burned gas from various locations, including Oil Mining Leases and Oil Prospecting Licenses.

This report follows the Nigerian government’s commitment to the United Nations in 2020 to achieve zero gas flaring by 2060, a decade after the UN’s 2050 target.