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Nigeria burns $794.5bn worth of gas in 2018

Through flaring of 777.37million standard cubic feet of gas daily, Nigeria burnt some 283.740.05 billion scf of gas between December 2017 and December 2018, New Telegraph has learnt.

This was revealed in a correspondence exchanged between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) sighted by this newspaper.

The volume of gas flared daily, checks showed, could generate over 3,131mega watts (MW) of electricity for the country that is currently battling gross power insufficiency.

Confirming the figure of gas flared, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which was also copied in the memo, noted on its monthly financial report, that the gas flare rate was 729.55mmscfd, 9.15 per cent for last December.

With $2.8 per mscfd price for natural gas at the international market, the 283.740.05 billion scf of gas flared between December 2017 and December 2018 amounted to $794.472 billion, according to checks by this newspaper.

On gas production last December, the NNPC said that it recorded 12.22 per cent increase at 240.64 billion cubic feet, compared to output in November 2018, translating to an average daily production of 8,021.21mmscfd. The daily average natural gas supply to gas power plants rose by 5.36 per cent to 774mmscfd, equivalent to power generation of 3,131MW.

“Out of the 240.59bcf of gas supplied in December 2018, a total of 151.13bcf of gas was commercialized, consisting of 38.61bcf and 112.52bcf for the domestic and export market respectively,” the NNPC financial report stated.

This, it continued, “translates to a total supply of 1,245.48mmscfd of gas to the domestic market and 3,748.47mmscfd of gas supplied to the export market for the month, implying that 62.61 per cent of the average daily gas produced was commercialized, while the balance of 37.39 per cent was re-injected, used as upstream fuel gas or flared.

Meanwhile, Nigeria and eight other African nations are set to benefit from a $175 billion U.S. Government project to invest in sub-Saharan power plants and support African gas production.

The initiative seeks to add 16,000MW of gas-fired power across sub-Saharan Africa by 2030. The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Power Africa coordinator announced the ‘Gas Roadmap for sub-Saharan Africa’ project last month, identifying known reserves that hold a potential of 400GW in total.

U.S. Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, wrote in the report: “A key ingredient in Africa’s energy mix is and will continue to be clean natural gas. Natural gas and LNG projects have the potential to generate essential electricity quickly and at reasonable prices.”

Supported by the U.S. Government, multinational energy companies including ExxonMobil, Eni and GE will invest in gas power projects in Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. These countries were selected due to their large populations, higher levels of national wealth and because they have local gas resources or liquefied natural gas (LNG) import projects. Through sending LNG into the region, the U.S. Government claims it can generate at least $5billion per year.

Gas resources have been discovered in 14 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria alone retains 81 per cent of all proven reserves, while several undeveloped fields in Tanzania and Mozambique could potentially account for 62 per cent of total contingent resources. Other nations without reserves are developing infrastructure to import natural gas to support demand for African gas production.

Gas is a highly competitive source of cleaner energy with gas-to-power potentially running as low as $0.10 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for integrated LNG projects, and $0.15 per kWh for small-scale and distributed power projects. The current average cost of generation in sub-Saharan Africa is $0.18 per kWh, and only $0.07 to $0.08 per kWh in Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique.