The Niger Delta

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Gas Flaring Continues in Nigera as Stakeholders Move to Shift Deadline

Shell Flare in UmuechemIt has been estimated that Nigeria is reponsible for over 70% of the world natural gas flared. Disturbed by this and in realization of its imensed benefits to a striving economy, the Nigerian government in 2001, put a deadline of 2008 for all Exploration and Production (E&P) companies operating in Nigeria to put out all flares.

The companies were also mandated to install a natural gas utilization strategy for all oil fields coming on stream thenceforth.

Most of these companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Elf, Chevron and Addax Oryx group had commenced gas monetization projects both domestic and international aimed at putting Nigeria's natural gas to use.

However, the story started changing last year when Royal Dutch Shell, the producer of over 50% of Nigeria's over 2 million barrels daily oil production, announced that 2008 is no longer feasible, citing community disturbance and obstruction of company projects among the list of hindrances while requesting for an elongation.

The Nigerian government is yet to issue an official comment on that but it seemed Shell voiced out the intentions of other companies.

On th 31st of August this year, stakeholders in the Nigerian gas sector will be meeting in a workshop in Lagos to discuss their progress and challenges in meeting with the mandate, it is obvious that they will most likely request the government extends the deadline.

And while they continue demanding for an extension, more gas is being flared into the atmosphere causing pollution and inconvenience to the Niger Delta people most of whom are living in darkness.

Watching the resources burn It becomes more painful when you realize that the flared gas is just what they need to have electricity light.




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