The Federal Government has forfeited an estimated $16 trillion to natural gas flaring in a decade amid soaring debt stocks, which amounted to N87.38 trillion in the second quarter of 2023.
The Energy Institute’s 72nd edition of the ‘Statistical Review of World Energy 2023’ revealed this on Monday, stating that the amount was squandered from 2012 to 2022.
A breakdown of the data showed that upstream and downstream oil and gas firms operating in the country wasted the most gas in 2012, estimated at 12.9 billion cubic metres of natural gas, 9.2 billion cubic metres in 2013, 8.3 billion in 2014, and 7.5 billion cubic metres in 2015.
The flare continued to decline as the year progressed, with 7.2 billion cubic metres flared in 2016.
It increased to 7.5 billion cubic metres in 2017 before falling to 7.3 billion cubic metres in 2018 and then rising to 7.8 billion cubic metres in 2019.
The menace reduced considerably to 7 billion cubic metres in 2020, dropping further to 6.5 billion cubic metres in 2021 before settling at 5.3 billion cubic metres in 2022.
A total of gas flared by the country in the ten years under review gives an estimated 86.5 billion cubic metres.
According to Hebrew Energy, the value for each 1 billion cubic metres of natural gas is about $183 million, giving an estimated $16 million to the menace within the period under review.
As a form of punishment for gas flaring, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, said oil companies were liable to fines totaling.
The Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Petroleum Commission, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, said, “The wasteful disposal of natural gas is not only fraught with deleterious health and environmental consequences but also a major source of resource waste and value erosion for the country.