All investors who got the approval of the federal government to capture and commercialise flared gas in the ongoing Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP) will be handed over their preferred flare sites by May 2020.
According to the timetable shared by the NGFCP Programme Manager, Mr. Justice Derefaka, at the 2019 edition of the annual Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Olobiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum (OLEF) in Abuja, the government hopes to conclude the distribution of the about 178 flare sites to investors by then, after which implementation of their business plans would commence.
Also, This day reported that between the period leading to the award of permits to access flare sites, the government would appoint international lawyers for the programme; hold a bidders’ conference; issue Request for Proposal (RFP) as well as open the gas flare data room to qualified applicants, evaluate investors’ proposals, make award to preferred bidders and then execute commercial agreements with them.
Apparently, the government had disclosed that it would put out a total of 178 gas flaring sites which had been identified to be commercially acquired by investors under the programme. It outlined that it would be gotten through a competitive bidding process including the issuance a permit to access flare gas to successful bidders as well as rights to permit holders to exclusively off-take such quantities of flare gas at one or more sites, for use in an approved commercial gas project.
It also said it was expecting $3.5 billion worth of inward investments by the third party investors to drive the programme and achieve its targets of ending gas flare in Nigeria by 2020.
Meanwhile, Derefaka further explained that the NGFCP expects that if gas from about 50 top flare sites in the country are accessed by investors in the programme, Nigeria could reduce the volume currently flared by 80 per cent.
He said “harnessing gas from the top 50 flare points would reduce volume of flared gas by 80 per cent, given 2015 gas flare locations and volumes as the baseline; over 178 flare points collectively flare about 1 billion standard feet of gas; majority of the gas flaring locations (about 65 per cent of them) are onshore; at least 80 per cent of gas from the flaring locations can be viably utilized”.
He added that although pipelines present the most viable option for transporting gas from flaring sites, scalable, containerised, skid mounted or barge type ‘plug and play’ technologies, virtual pipeline and compressed natural gas trucks, would, however, be preferred for security and other reasons.
According to him, despite the drop in gas flaring by well over 70 per cent in the country over the past decade, Nigeria still flared about one billion cubic feet of it in 2017, exceeding the equivalent of 800 metric million standard feet per day (mmscfd) utilized for power generation and equivalent of 450mmscfd utilized in the domestic industry.