Recent findings by Eyewitness9ja reveal that the Federal Government experienced a significant revenue shortfall of N13.33bn in gas flaring penalties during January and February 2023. The government fell short of expected earnings despite imposing fines on oil and gas firms operating onshore and offshore for violating gas flaring regulations. This article delves into the penalties, the environmental impact of gas flaring, and the government’s commitment to reducing it.
According to a gas flare data report by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), oil and gas companies operating onshore were penalized $49m (N22bn) for flaring 24 billion Standard Cubic Feet of gas during the two months. The report indicates that the penalties amounted to $49m, which translates to N8.67bn in revenue for the government. However, this amount falls far below the expected N22bn, resulting in a shortfall of N13.33bn.
The gas flaring figures for January and February 2023 show that onshore companies flared 19.14 billion SCF and 14.04 billion SCF of gas, respectively, releasing approximately 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, offshore companies flared 10.84 billion SCF and 13.09 billion SCF of gas during the same period, contributing to 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Despite the Federal Government’s efforts to promote gas monetization and discourage flaring, the practice has continued since the 1950s. Gas flaring has resulted in environmental and health challenges in oil-producing areas due to releasing harmful gaseous substances into the atmosphere.
The NOSDRA report identified several companies, including Shell Petroleum Development Company, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, and Chevron Nigeria, among others, involved in gas flaring.
The Chairman of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE Nigeria Council, Prof. Olalekan Olafuyi, expressed the government’s commitment to intensifying gas flare penalties to align with the United Nations net zero goals by 2060.
The Federal Government’s struggle to recover N13.33bn in gas flaring fines highlights the ongoing challenges of reducing gas flaring in Nigeria. The revenue fell short of expectations despite penalties imposed on violating oil and gas firms. As the government intensifies its efforts towards achieving net zero goals, a stronger push for gas monetization and stricter enforcement of regulations may be necessary to address the environmental and health concerns caused by gas flaring.