Gas Flaring: Investors scale evaluation phase, as petroleum ministry closes bid round

ON Thursday, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Folasade Yemi-Esan announced the completion of bid round to secure flared gas for monetisation under the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, NGFCP, as successful candidates are expected to be announced next week.

NGFCP was launched in December 2016 to eliminate gas flaring in the Niger Delta by monetising flared gas, which accounts for 22 million tonnes per annum of carbon emissions.

Yemi-Esan stated that the initial evaluation exercise was complete with successful bidders to be contacted next week.

“We received over 238 statements of qualification of which we’ll be selecting 205 applicants who will be contacted by email this week with invitations to attend a Qualified Applicants’ Workshop 19th August at the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, in Abuja ahead of the Requests for Proposals, RFP, phase,” she said.

Justice Derefaka, general manager of NGFCP, also assured bidders who were unsuccessful at the initial evaluation exercise, that they could be considered if they formed a consortium.

“The 33 unsuccessful applicants will still have a chance to participate with a successful consortium, subject to acceptance by those consortia, but the burden of arranging such alliances will not be the responsibility of the NGFCP,” he said.

Nigeria aims at attracting investors to deploy innovative technologies that will utilise flared gas at over 198 flaring sites across the Niger Delta.

    Eradicating gas flares in the Niger Delta has been the Nigerian government’s policy for decades but companies ignored small fines set to dissuade the violation.

    The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, in particular, has been unable to enforce compliance, despite the threat to revoke titles from those in breach of the rules.

    New regulations have raised the penalty from 0.03 cents per thousand cubic feet of associated gas flared for companies pumping more than 10,000 barrels per day of oil to $2. The fine for companies producing less than 10,000 barrels per day is 50 cents, offering respite for marginal field producers.

    “The strategy of eliminating gas flaring within two or three years will have a huge multiplier effect on economic development, attracting investment topping $3.5 billion, and contributing to Nigeria’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions under the COP-21 Agreement, signed after the 2015 Paris Climate Conference,” Justice affirmed.

    Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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