Oil and gas firms operating in the country flared a total of 215.9 billion standard cubic feet of natural gas in the first nine months of last year, amounting to a potential loss of N197bn.
Data obtained by our correspondent from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation showed that 31.68 billion scf of gas was flared in January; 27.25 billion scf, in February; and 26.88 billion scf in March, and 23.06 billion scf in April.
The firms, including international and indigenous operators, wasted 21.20 billion scf of gas in May; 21.66 billion scf in June; 21.21 billion scf in July; 22.42 billion scf in August, and 20.54 billion scf in September.
With the price of natural gas put at $2.97 per 1,000scf as of Friday, the 215.9 billion scf flared translates to an estimated loss of $641.22m or N196.82bn (using the official exchange rate of N306.95/dollar).
According to the NNPC, out of the 238.91 billion scf of gas supplied in September 2018, a total of 142.09 billion scf of gas was commercialised, comprising 30.36 billion scf and 111.73 billion scf for the domestic and export market respectively.
It said, “This translates to a total supply of 1,011.96 mmscfd of gas to the domestic market and 3,724.26 mmscfd of gas supplied to the export market for the month.
“This implies that 59.47 per cent of the average daily gas produced was commercialised while the balance of 40.53 per cent was re-injected, used as upstream fuel gas or flared. Gas flare rate was 8.60 per cent for the month under review i.e. 684.69mmscfd compared with average gas flare rate of 10.17 per cent i.e. 800.59mmscfd for the period September 2017 to September 2018.”
It said total gas supply from September 2017 to September 2018 stood at 3.094 trillion scf, out of which 464.48 billion scf and 1.331 trillion scf were commercialised for the domestic and export market respectively.
The corporation said, “Out of the 1.011 billion scfd of gas supplied to the domestic market in September 2018, about 614.55mmscfd of gas, representing 60.73 per cent was supplied to gas-fired power plants while the balance of 397.41mmscfd or 39.27 per cent was supplied to other industries.
“Similarly, for the period of September 2017 to September 2018, an average of 1.185 billion scfd of gas was supplied to the domestic market, comprising of an average of 743.85mmscfd or (62.75 per cent) as gas supply to the power plants and 441.58mmscfd or (37.25 per cent) as gas supply to industries.”
It said about 3.370 billion scfd or 90.50 per cent of the export gas was sent to Nigerian LNG Limited in September, compared with an average of 3.043 billion scfd or 89.58 per cent for the period September 2017 to September 2018.