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Sunday, September 24, 2023

NNPC introduces new project approval method to curb gas flaring

Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) has suggested fresh moves to address the challenges of gas flaring in the country.

Gas flaring
Gas flaring

NNPC Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (GMD/CEO), Malam Mele Kyari, during a panel session at the Nigerian International Energy Summit (NIES 2022) that ended recently in Abuja, said that part of the strategies would be a guarantee that any project proposal without clear plans to commercialise or deplete its associated gas would no longer be approved.

He said gas utilisation was a top priority for both the federal government and NNPC as efforts were underway to build infrastructure to replace current fuel and diesel in the country’s factories with gas, which is a source of energy.

Kyari commented that the trend was in step with the global reality of the energy transition.

However, he emphasised that Nigeria as a country needed all the hydrocarbons of today to build the energy of tomorrow.

In his main message, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources was ready to provide the necessary framework and support for a smooth energy transition in the country.

Also speaking at the event, a former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said that focusing on accelerating oil production, refining in the country, developing a flow of finance and taking advantage of the Petroleum Industry Act Petroleum (PIA) were some of the solutions. to the current challenges of the industry.

He advised that gas should be seen as a transition fuel with an estimated useful life of 20 years, adding that industry players should start looking at alternative sources of energy, such as solar and wind, to catch up with the world before 2060.

Other panelists, including the Managing Directors of Chevron, SPDC, Exxon Mobil, the Deputy Managing Director of Total Energies, and the General Manager of NLNG, expressed their commitment to the Federal Government’s energy transition aspiration, while indicating their willingness to partner. with NNPC for better business opportunities.

Speaking at the CEO roundtable session with the sub-theme: “Strategies to meet the energy transition”, Kyari said that a key strategy to address the energy transition challenge was to increase investment in physical infrastructure development.

This, he said, would bring electricity to end users in all parts of the country.

“We know that in this country, less than 30,000 to 40,000 megawatts of electricity cannot adequately serve this country.

“The population is growing, the middle class is growing, in fact, their energy requirement is very different; rural-urban migration is at its peak.

“This means that more and more infrastructure is needed on the ground to close that gap.

“So, we need to be much more productive, industrial growth needs to be accelerated, infrastructure needs to be put in place in the short term to grow the economy to a level where we can generate enough income to close the energy poverty gap.

“We must respond to the issue of electricity in the country,” Kyari said.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has called on energy industry investors to take advantage of the enabling environment provided by the Power Industry Act (PIA) to accelerate investment in Nigeria’s energy sector.

Speaking at the opening of the recently concluded NIES 2022, the president said that with the PIA underway, there should be no excuse for the country’s oil industry players not to deepen their investments, especially in the gas sector.

The president, who was representing the State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, pointed out that the world was moving away from fossil fuels.

Buhari said it would be in the country’s interest to speed up its exploitation of fossil fuels and make good use of the resources for the betterment of the country rather than abandoning the huge oil and gas reserves.

He recognised the demands of the energy transition and assured that the country is prepared to face the challenges.

Speaking in his capacity as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Sylva said the world should support a push to develop African natural gas production, describing it as green energy to boost electricity generation.

Sylva explained that for countries like Nigeria, which was rich in natural resources but still poor in energy, the transition should not come at the expense of affordable and reliable energy for people, cities and industry.

For his part, NNPC CEO Kyari said the company will continue to develop Nigeria’s gas resources despite the departure of International Oil Companies (IOC) from the country due to the global push for energy transition and carbon target. net zero.

On the energy transition, Kyari said that the NNPC would work with its partners to facilitate the process in Nigeria, regardless of the massive drop in investment in fossil fuel projects amid the departure of IOCs from Nigeria.

The head of NNPC stated that Nigeria and most sub-Saharan African countries were energy deficient.

He said that the world had recognised the place of gas as a transition fuel, and stressed that it would not be possible for gas to play that role unless there were investments in the gas sector to produce it, process it and make it available to users.

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