Nigeria to end hazardous practice of gas flaring

Nigeria to end hazardous practice of gas flaring

Nigeria's pipelines

Nigeria's minister of state for foreign affairs Bagudu Hirse has set January 2010 as the deadline for ending the practice in the country.
The West African country will ban outright the environmentally dangerous practice of flaring gas extracted together with oil, the minister told reporters here.
Hirse said the end on gas flaring would also help Nigeria save gas to meet its worsening energy needs.
"By the end of next month, after December, there will be no gas flaring by any oil company operating in Nigeria. We will now be able to save enough gas for our local needs and also meet demands for the West African gas pipeline as well as the Trans-Saharan gas project," he said.
Nigeria, where gas flaring is theoretically illegal since 1979, has many a times come up with deadlines to stop the practice but none have worked.
According to the constitution of the country, gas flaring is illegal but big oil companies have been granted exemptions from the government.
The minister, however, said with the present situation there would be no exclusion from the rule.

Recently, House of Representatives committee chairman on Climate Change Eziuche Ubani had started a campaign to stop big oil companies from flaring gas in order to protect the environment.
He said gas flaring was contributing to environmental problems of the Niger Delta, where youth have taken to militancy to fight against environmental degradation.
Nigeria has gas reserves of about 183 trillion cubic feet and ranks the seventh in the world.
Geologists say that there is a lot additional gas to be found, if companies intentionally explore gas, as opposed to discovering it by chance whilst searching for oil.
A gas pipeline that would cost USD 30 billion has been planned to provide gas to domestic users in Europe.
The pipeline will be build across the Sahara Desert.

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