Abuja (Nigeria) – Nigeria intends to sign the United Nations Agreement on Zero Routing Gas Flaring by 2030, if it gains support of the National Assembly.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed this while speaking on Monday at the opening ceremony of the 6th African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition in Abuja, where he noted that the federal government has already set an earlier national target of 2020 to end gas flaring in the country.
While calling on African countries to take advantage of the gas-to-power potentials, he said, ending gas flaring is imperative for African oil producers considering the amount of waste involved.
Statement by the Senior Special Assistant-Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande explained that Osinbajo observed that, “there is also the gas-to-power challenge in many member-states and the paradox of much gas but precious little gas to fire power plants.
According to him, of the over 150 billion cubic meters of associated gas is flared annually in the world. Africa flares an estimated 40 billion cubic meters, while about half of that is flared by Nigeria.
He said, “it’s time to take a much further stand on gas flaring, both from environmental and a waste-of-needed-resources perspectives. … If Africa must meet her future energy needs, the issue of the development of a robust gas infrastructure must be jointly addressed.”
Osinbajo further observed that Nigeria has the 7th largest deposit of gas in the world with reserves estimated at over 185 trillion cubic feet (TCF), and also the highest quality.
“With the present volatility in the industry, the coming years would be defining for African oil and gas producing countries. A common approach to local content will ensure that the whole of Africa benefit from economy of scale associated with vast resources.”
And with the current oil prices and the challenges faced in the industry, the relevance and creativity of the African Petroleum Producers Association “is being tested,” he said.
Vice President Osinbajo assured that the continent has all the resources needed to transform African countries, saying, “There is no reason why the African oil and gas industry should remain attached to the apron springs of industries elsewhere.”
While expressing the need for African oil producing countries to take their destiny in their hands, Osinbajo challenged African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA) member-countries to recognize the latent and huge resources in Africa and develop the strategy for the development of domestic refining capacity in the oil and gas which is critical for sustainable economic growth.
Commending the organizers of the conference, the Vice President described the theme, “Positioning African Petroleum For Global Development and Value Addition” as apt because hydro carbon accounts for a significant proportion of government revenue and could help address the challenge of gas-to-power for energy generation.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and President of APPA, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu stated that the conference was timely coming at a critical period when the industry was experiencing price volatility. He the situation is of global concern threatening oil and gas investments, but also creating opportunities for new energy sources.