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Shell repeats commitment to end Nigeria gas flaring by 2008 Shell repeats commitment to end Nigeria gas flaring by 2008

The Associated Press


LONDON (Dow Jones/AP) — Royal Dutch/Shell Group Monday reiterated a commitment to end the process of flaring off natural gas from oil projects in Nigeria by 2008.

The company said it has spent about $2 billion to date on infrastructure to collect and ship the gas which would otherwise be burned off into the atmosphere.

Shell has been under pressure from environmentalists and local residents to end gas flaring in Nigeria. Some say the process contributes to global warming.

“Gathering the associated gas (from oil sights) is a long-term challenging task,” said Malcolm Brinded, head of Shell’s exploration and production activities.

Speaking at Shell’s annual general meeting, Brinded was responding to questions from Nigerian environmental activist Oronto Douglas, who traveled to London to press Shell’s board on environmental and social issues.

Shell’s joint venture with the Nigerian government accounts for around half of the country’s total oil production of around 3 million barrels of day

Brinded, who is also managing director of London-based Shell Transport & Trading Co., added that the $15 billion Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas project is a key element in allowing the natural gas to be sold in the marketplace rather than burned off into the atmosphere.

The Nigeria LNG project currently has three plants, or trains, online with an additional two trains due to come on line next year.

Shell said Monday it would probably cost around an additional $4 billion to complete building the infrastructure to eliminate gas-flaring in Nigeria by 2008.

British environmental group Friends of the Earth said in a report Monday that one-fifth of all gas flared in the world comes from Nigeria.

Nigeria lies at the heart of the recent scandal over Shell’s overstatement of 23 percent of its proven oil and gas reserves.

Of the total 4.47 billion barrels of reserves that were downgraded from proven to other, less certain categories, 1.3 billion barrels, or 29 percent, came from Nigeria.

New York Stock Exchange-listed Royal Dutch Petroleum shares traded midday Monday at $52.65, up 37 cents.

NYSE-listed Shell Transport & Trading shares traded at $46.05, up 27 cents.

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