Twenty-five major oil companies, oil-producing nations and development institutions agreed Friday to end the practice of routine gas flaring by 2030 at thousands of oil production sites around the world.
Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Kuwait Oil Co., Russia, Norway and the Asian Development, chief executives from major oil companies joined together with senior government officials from oil producing companies collective have agreed to end natural gas flaring by 2030, unfortunately Nigeria was noticeably absent in this summit.
The participating countries includes Norway, Cameroon, Russia Federation, Uzbekistan, Republic of Congo, Angola and France.
Ten energy companies, nine oil-producing countries and six independent development institutions have jointly committed to ending the practice of gas flaring at oil wells no later than 2030.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, announced the initiative – the Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative – on April 19 during the annual spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington.
The Bank said that the governments and energy companies supporting the movement, which are responsible for more than 40 per cent of global gas flaring, recognize the economic as well as environmental downside of gas flaring and are prepared to find ways to end it by 2030. As an incentive, they’re asked to report their progress annually.
A World Bank statement said the energy companies and governments that haven’t yet endorsed the initiative are reviewing their own gas-flaring practices, and many are expected to join the effort soon.
The World Bank and the UN already have been joined by company’s executives and government ministers including Royal Dutch Shell Chairman Jorma Ollila; Statoil CEO Eldar Saetre; Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende; Gabonese Minister of Petroleum Etienne Dieudonne Ngoubou, along with other senior government and corporate officials, as well as representatives of international development banks.
During oil production one of the bye product is associated gas and this gas is “burned off” Flaring is the burning of natural gas that cannot be processed or sold. Flaring disposes of the gas while releasing emissions into the atmosphere.
140 billion cubic meters of gas is flared or in other words “burned wastefully away” for a variety of reasons, it could be economic, regulatory or technical reasons, some adduce that the gas is not even enough to be put into profitable use, this is a no brainer strategy as Nigeria is currently short on power generation supplies and distribution, flared gas could be used for power generation. if flared gas is properly captured it could be burned more carefully to provide 750 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, more than enough to meet today’s needs of the entire continent of Africa. it beholds on the government of Nigeria to ensure that the oil companies adhere strictly to zero gas flaring and pass a proper regulatory framework to enforce same.
Nigeria Oil companies flares 40% of the total gas flared across Africa, leading to a significant lose of almost $7billion apart from this financial loss there are associated health implications to Nigerians, flared gas is known to contain toxic substances that could cause respiratory diseases and air pollution, gas flaring will also deplete the ozone layer which in turn will have adverse effects on the environment.
Nigeria started the idea of regulating or totally stopping gas flaring as early as 1979 with the associated gas re-injection act of 1979, unfortunately, the final deadline to ending this is not in site yet due to Nigeria’s lax legislation since this democratic dispensation, however the current petroleum industry bill of 2012 if passed may properly address the issue of gas flaring and strictly adhere to a deadline on stopping or monetising associated gas for the benefit of Nigeria.
Business Development Executive.