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Nigeria Loses N373bn in H1 2023, Ranks 7th in Global Flaring

Based on the data extracted from the Nigerian Oil Spill Monitor, an arm of the Nigerian Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, oil and gas companies in the country flared 138.7million metric standard cubic feet of gas in H1 2023.

This is about a 10% rise from 126.1million standard cubic feet (SCF) of gas in H1 2022, resulting in 7.4million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions which converted at a rate of US$485.3m, translates to an equivalent of N373bn lost (using I&E window rate) compared with 6.7m tonnes of CO2 emissions at a cost of US$441.2m, which translated to an equivalent of N338bn lost in H1 2022.

Elsewhere, the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR) in its 2022 global gas flaring tracker report ranked Nigeria as the 7th among the top nine largest gas flaring countries globally in 2022.

Based on the satellite data, about 139 billion cubic meters (bcm) equivalent of c.4.9tn standard cubic feet of gas was flared at upstream oil and gas facilities across the globe in 2022, resulting in 382.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions with an equivalent amount of US$16.5bn lost.

Specifically for Nigeria, data from the World Bank was broadly in line with data from Nigerian Oil Spill Monitor above.

Gas flaring in Nigeria has been an insurmountable problem, especially in the Niger Delta region (Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Imo state) since the commercial exploration of crude oil started.

The country has on several occasions set a target to end gas flaring, which has all been missed, with the most recent unmet deadline in the year 2020.

In February 2021, the ex-minister for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva, noted that the government had committed to achieving a complete elimination of gas flaring by the year 2025, before the World Bank’s zero routine flaring by 2030.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government continues to lose potential revenue to gas flaring. As seen by both the NOSDRA data and the World Bank report, Nigeria lost potential income of between US$761.2m and US$893.1m to gas flaring in 2022.

Beyond that, the agricultural ecosystem of the Niger Delta has been severely damaged. Due to increased soil temperature, crop yield has been affected with many lands now barren.

Furthermore, water bodies in the area have been affected. The black water bodies have destroyed fishing potential while burning bushes and lands have forced animals to desert the forests in the area.

The health of citizens residing in communities prone to gas flaring has also been severely impacted.

Gas flaring has been linked to cancer and lung damage alongside neurological and reproductive problems which have become prominent among pregnant women and newborns in the region.

Furthermore, the state of gas flaring which has worsened the economic situation of affected villages has led to the development of insurgency.

With plans to convert to gas-powered vehicles, we believe the country may be more determined to harness flared gas.

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