Damilola Shittu – Abuja
Gas flaring has continued to take its toll on the Nigerian economy, the environment and the lives of the people of oil-producing communities, as the country lost $987.175 million, about N302.076 billion in 2018, to the continuous flaring by oil and gas firms operating in the petroleum industry.
According to data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC’s Monthly Financial and Operation Report for December 2018, this, however, represented a 1.93 percent decline compared to the $1.007 billion, about $308.01 billion lost by the country to gas flaring in 2017.
Gas flaring Specifically, the report stated that the oil and gas firms flared 282.05 billion standard cubic feet, scf, of gas in 2018, compared to 287.59 billion SCF flared in 2017. Using an average exchange rate of N306 and an average natural gas price of $3.50 per 1,000 scf of gas, 282.05 billion scf of gas flared translated to a loss of N302.076 billion, an equivalent of $987.175 million.
The volume of gas flared accounted for 9.94 percent of the total gas production of 2.836 trillion scf recorded in the country in 2018. In its month-on-month analysis, the report stated that 31.68 billion scf, 27.25 billion scf, 26.88 billion scf, 23.06 billion scf, 21.20 billion scf and 21.66 billion scf of gas was flared between January and June respectively, while from July to December 2018, 21.21 billion scf, 22.42 billion scf, 20.54 billion scf, 20.51 billion scf, 23.78 billion scf and 21.89 billion scf was flared respectively.
The report further stated that the volume of gas flared accounted for 23.97 percent of non-commercialised gas. Specifically, 1.177 trillion scf of gas was not commercialised in the year under review, representing 41.49 percent of total gas produced in 2019. At 1.77 trillion scf, the value of non-commercialised gas stood at $4.12 billion, an equivalent of N1.26 trillion.
On the other hand, the report disclosed that 430.2 billion scf of gas was utilised in the domestic market in 2018, while 1.23 trillion scf of gas was exported. In the domestic gas supply segment, the report noted that 267.56 billion scf was utilised by the Power sector; while 162.64 billion scf was utilised by industries. In the export category, the report noted that 25.32 billion scf, 69.18 billion scf, 35.59 billion scf and 1.099 trillion scf of gas was exported through the West Africa Gas Pipeline, WAPG, Escravos Gas to Liquid, EGTL, Natural Gas Liquid/Liquefied Petroleum Gas, NGL/LPG, and the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG respectively.
In the non-commercialised gas segment, 760.12 billion scf of gas was re-injected, 134.64 billion scf was used as fuel gas, while 282.05 billion scf was flared. NNPC had declared a trading surplus of N81.674 billion for the 2018 financial year, compared to a deficit of N82.004 billion recorded in 2017. Revenue of N4.948 trillion, rising by 33.3 percent from N3.712 trillion recorded in 2017, and expenses of N4.866 trillion drove this, up from N3.794 trillion recorded in 2017.