Gas flaring, the introduction of toxic pollutants such as sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, which can lead to environmental problems such as acid rain, amongst others, has remained a serious concern for Nigeria as a country.
The situation is more prominent in the Niger Delta region where crude oil is been explored and produce to the surface of the earth. Billions of cubic meters of natural gas is flared annually at these sites.
According to National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, the oil companies flared 1.8 billion standard cubic feet (scf) per day of gas in the last nine years. By way of sanctioning, this could have attracted Nigeria Government about $3.6 billion in penalty, although that is not the case.
For instance, the government-run satellite tracker agency data showed that the volume of gas flared generated 95.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. The flared gas is valued at $6.3 billion and it could generate 179.9 thousand GWh.
A closer look into the development revealed that natural gas valued at $1.24 billion was burned by oil companies in 2020, this could ordinarily generate the annual electricity use of 804 million Nigerian citizenries.
Although, Nigeria planned to end gas flaring by 2025 but Since 1979, this has been the discussion.
TotalEnergies reports 75% drop in gas flaring
But TotalEnergies has insisted that in the last 10 years it has successfully reduced gas flaring in its operations in Nigeria by 75 per cent.
In an interview, the Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water, TotalEnergies, Mr Victor Bandele, noted that the company has been at the forefront of the global transition to cleaner sources of energy and was committed to combating climate change.
He said in Nigeria, the company reduced its flare volume from 3 Million Standard Cubic Meters Per Day (MSCM/D) in 2010 to 0.79 MSCM/D in 2020.
According to him, further reduction of flaring is a priority in line with the group’s objective, which saw the company transformed from Total into TotalEnergies on May 28.
“We want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because we believe in it and not just because it is in vogue. We want to make good impact on our environment.
“We are desperate to stop routine flaring by 2030 and have been strategic towards this in the execution of our projects,” he said.
Bandele said TotalEnergies, through its Joint Venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, earned 1.4 million dollars through the sales of Carbon Credit on the United Kingdom market in 2020.
He said apart from the deployment of modern technologies in its operations, the company had also embarked on solarisation of its offices, retail outlets and project sites to reduce carbon emissions.
Bandele said the company had invested over 10 billion dollars in Nigeria in the last few years and was currently a key player in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas value chain.
He said Nigeria was vital to TotalEnergies’ operations with the country accounting for over 10 per cent of its energy production globally in terms of exploration and production.