Oil Majors May Not Get Reprieve On 2030 Gas Flare Out Timeline 

Yemisi Izuora

There are strong indications that the Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), may likely not take further excuses from oil majors operating in Nigeria for not meeting the 2030 gas flare out deadline..

The Commission said it will stick to timeline on gas flareout date so as not to derail federal government gas development initiatives.

As a result the Commission advised major oil firms to take additional steps towards investing in gas gatherings infrastructure and avoid sanctions that will follow any infractions.

According to a recent GlobalData report,  Nigeria and other nations involved in such act , could lose up to $82bn a year due to global gas flaring,

The report identified biggest gas flarers, accounting for over 87 per cent of all flared gas in 2020, to include Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, the US and Venezuela.

Though the Federal Government had pledged to end the burning of gas as a by-product of oil production by 2030, under its latest climate plan submitted to the United Nations, independent sources state that Nigeria flared an average of 11.1m3/bbl of gas last year.

Addressing members of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), in Lagos yesterday,  Engr. Gbenga Komolafe Commission Chief Executive (CCE), of NUPRC, said the Commission would take into account key challenges facing operators with a view to creating enabling environment to further grow the sector.

“Upon my assumption of office as the   pioneer Chief Executive of the newly created Nigeran Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), I identified the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) association as a critical stakeholder and partner in the development and operations of Upstream assets in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.” Komolafe said.

He said it was against that backdrop that he  decided to host the meeting in Lagos to reinforce his acknowledgment of their association and to solicit their collaboration as industry stakeholders.

“Therefore, our meeting is to formally unveil the NUPRC to you and to familiarize and identify with you as a regulator business enabler in Upstream operations.

“This is coming at a critical point in the industry when the clamour from the   global community is focused on energy transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy which is competing with the need for enhanced revenue to fund critical infrastructure through monetization of our hydrocarbon resources.  On our part, NUPRC will remain committed to its mandate to optimise revenue for government and investors.” he said.

Komolafe said he expect the meeting to distill issues/ challenges militating against their optimization of project investments in key areas of Upstream sector.

“Permit me also to say that this is the first in the series of engagements with you as our vision is to build a 21st century regulator that will be fair, just and be a critical enabler in the Upstream Petroleum sector.

“It is in this wise, that we urge you all to join hands with us in building confidence in the industry for robust investment.”

But responding to issues on reviewing the timeline on gas flare out date, head of NUPRC, Joseph Tolurunse said the 2030 deadline remain sacrosanct as operators have a 9 year opportunity to exit gas flare from their fields.

Tolurunse said any other plan outside that will truncate national flare out plan and discourage Nigeria’s Gas commercialisation programmes.

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