Gas flaring activities among oil and gas firms cost Nigeria N521.9 billion (around $1.7 billion) in 2019, the latest statistics by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has revealed.
In volume terms, this comes to around 475.3 billion standard cubic feet (scf) of gas wasted in the process of exploration during the period.
According to NOSDRA, 25.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) were lost during gas flaring last year, a quantity capable of delivering 47,500 gigawatts of electricity per hour to the national grid.
The data demonstrate onshore oil firms were responsible for 50.3 per cent of the total flared gas figure in 2019.
Put differently, they accounted for a loss 239 billion scf of gas valued at $836.4 million (over N306 billion). 12.7 million tonnes of CO2 emission equivalent to potential power generation of 23,900 gigawatts per hour was lost in the process.
On their part, offshore companies flared 49.7 per cent of gas in the period in question, representing a wasted volume of 236.4 billion scf worth $827.3 million (about N302.792 billion).
In the course of production, 12.7 million tonnes of CO2, capable of producing 23,900 gigawatts per hour were frittered away.
NODRA says that the firms are to pay a penalty of $1 billion for the gas flaring offence.
Interestingly, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had last month given a much more conservative estimate of the quantity and value of gas flared in the country in the eleven month period from January to November 2019, which it put at 225.81 billion scf and N127.53 billion respectively.