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NUPRC plans to end gas flaring by 2030

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By Abraham Adekunle

Economic losses and environmental damage has been caused by gas flaring.

To work towards achieving environmental sustainability and international compliance, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has revealed its initiative to eradicate gas flaring in the country by the year 2030. Addressing a distinguished audience at the 8th Sub-Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference in Lagos, Gbenga Komolafe, the Chief Executive Officer of NUPRC, outlined the commission’s resolute commitment to spearheading Nigeria’s transition to a zero-flare status by the end of the decade, coupled with the overarching objective of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2060.

Komolafe elucidated the multifaceted approach adopted by NUPRC, emphasizing the pivotal role of the Nigeria Gas-Flare Commercialization Programme among other strategic initiatives. This program aims not only to curb the wanton wastage of gas resources through flaring but also to harness these resources for commercial purposes, thereby fostering economic growth and environmental conservation simultaneously. Drawing attention to Nigeria’s commendable environmental stewardship, Komolafe cited data from the European Union’s Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research, which underscores Nigeria’s relatively low ranking as the 165th top emitter globally.

Despite low emissions, Nigeria faces gas flaring crisis.

With a per capita greenhouse gas emissions rate of merely 1.88 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, representing a negligible 0.13 percent of the global total, Nigeria stands as a beacon of conscientious environmental management on the global stage. However, despite these favourable statistics, Komolafe stressed the imperative of sustained vigilance and proactive measures to further mitigate emissions and enhance sustainability in the nation’s energy sector. He emphasized that complacency is not an option in the face of mounting environmental challenges and evolving international standards.

Recent revelations from the Nigerian Gas Flare Tracker paint a sobering picture of the persisting challenge of gas flaring in the country. Between the years 2020 and 2024, Nigeria witnessed a staggering $1.9 billion worth of gas resources going up in flames due to flaring activities. The tracker’s data indicate that a total of 595.1 million standard cubic feet of gas were flared across various states including Rivers, Delta, Imo, Edo, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Anambra, Abia, and Lagos during this period.

This activity threatens Nigeria’s sustainable development.

Despite the concerted efforts of stakeholders within the energy sector, gas flaring continues to be a pervasive issue, exacerbating environmental degradation and posing significant challenges to sustainable development. The World Bank defines gas flaring as the burning of natural gas associated with oil extraction, a practice that not only squanders valuable resources but also contributes to air pollution and climate change. Moreover, the prevalence of gas flaring in Nigeria underscores the urgent need for comprehensive reforms and innovative solutions to transition toward cleaner energy sources and more sustainable practices.

While the country grapples with the adverse effects of gas flaring, electricity-generating companies have repeatedly sounded the alarm over gas shortages, further highlighting the urgency of addressing this pressing issue. Addressing delegates at the conference, Komolafe underscored Nigeria’s immense potential as a regional economic powerhouse, citing its strategic geopolitical positioning, burgeoning market of over 200 million consumers, youthful demographic dividend, and abundant natural resources. However, he cautioned that realizing this potential necessitates a concerted effort to address existing challenges and capitalize on inherent strengths.

Related Article: Nigeria loses $22.9bn to gas flaring in 9yrs

In his call to action, Komolafe stressed the crucial need for enhanced collaboration and regional integration to unlock Nigeria’s vast economic potential and steer towards sustainable development. Achieving the ambitious target of ending gas flaring by 2030 requires concerted efforts from government, industry stakeholders, and the international community. Together, their collective endeavours will play a pivotal role in ushering in a transformative era marked by environmental stewardship and economic prosperity, not only for Nigeria but also for the broader global community.

Related Link

World Bank: Website

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