Ending Natural Gas Flaring in Nigeria’s Oil Fields

  •  Francis Ibitoye    


Nigeria has one of the largest ten natural gas reserves in the world and roughly 50% of the deposits are discovered in association with oil. Over the years most of the associated gas is flared, with the attendant damage to the environment and a huge economic loss. Several efforts have recently been made to curtail gas flaring, including the establishment of a liquefied natural gas plant, a pipeline to transport gas to some neighbouring countries, and legislative measures to regulate the oil and gas industry. Additional projects are being planned and some of these are at various stages of completion. This work presents a three-scenario analysis of current and planned projects aimed at ending gas flaring activities over a study period 30 years (2010 - 2040). The first scenario is a business-as-usual case based on existing infrastructures. The second scenario assumes all firm projects are implemented as planned, while the third scenario assumes that, in addition to the firm projects, further projects are implemented. Results of the analysis indicate that existing infrastructure will not be sufficient to end gas flaring in the country. The implementation of firm planned projects in the second scenario will only reduce gas flaring to about 10% in 2040. The third scenario of additional projects ensures total elimination of gas flaring. The last two scenarios indicate that 2018 is the year when significant reduction in gas flaring can be achieved in Nigeria. Results also indicate that beyond the firm planned projects in the second scenario, proper timing and sizing of additional projects will be very critical in order to minimise stress on non-associated gas reserves.

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