Nigeria to terminate gas flaring in 2004
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said that the deadline for terminating gas flares in the country's oil fields
has been brought forward to 2004, four years ahead of the former deadline of 2008. Addressing the opening ceremony of
the Ota/Agbara gas distribution station of Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) Limited, in Ota, Ogun State, Obasanjo said that
the huge investment in the gas industry had made it imperative for the set target date for the elimination of gas
flaring to be brought forward by four years.
President Obasanjo was quoted as saying that the import of his administration's commitment in developing and utilizing gas was predicated on making revenue accruable from gas close to the revenue derivable from crude oil. Aside from the targeted accruable revenue from gas, Obasanjo also pledged the commitment of the government in boosting domestic gas utilization above current demand of 500 mm cfpd.
Obasanjo said their projection of the targeted volume for domestic gas utilization would be met by rehabilitating
most generating units of NEPA, entering into joint venture with multinationals for the new independent power plants,
exploration and development of domestic market.
He said that gas as a competitive fuel had the potential to assist in substituting liquid fuels which would be released for export to earn more revenue. Obasanjo said that the beauty of the project was its attraction of over 4 bn naira (about $ 34 mm) in foreign direct investment in the economy. He commended the "strategic alliance" between SNG and the Nigeria Gas Company, saying that the project was a testimony to the nation's policy thrust of providing good investment climate for partnership between foreign investors and indigenous concerns.
Earlier in his welcome address, SNG Managing Director Olando Ojo said that the $ 34-mm project was funded through
direct inflow of foreign investment from Shell Gas and Power BV. It is reported that about 30 customers have
signified interest in utilizing the SNG gas and SNG has plansto extend gas pipelines to factories and enterprises in
the industrial zones of Ikorodu, Aba and Port Harcourt in southern Nigeria.
Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer and the world's sixth largest oil exporter, which is able to turn out some 2.6 mm bpd of crude oil.