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Nigeria: Gas Flaring – 2008 Deadline Not Achievable – Shell

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Leadership (Abuja)
9 May 2008
Ese Awhotu

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has said that as long as militants continue to attack its facilities and the situation goes unresolved, gas flaring will continue in the country. Because of the insecurity in the oil rich Niger Delta region, Shell said it can no longer meet the 2008 deadline to end gas- flaring.

The issue of gas flaring in Nigeria has been a subject of controversy between the government and the major oil companies operating in the country. At various points, deadlines have been shifted as a result of the failure of the oil companies to meet their side of the bargain and inability of government to provide an enabling environment to end gas falring.

Nigeria is currently rated as the highest gas flaring nation in the world second to Russia. In 2004 alone, a recent World Bank report showed Nigeria flared 23 billion cubic feet of gas. This development has driven the government to approve a gas policy as stakeholders in the gas industry continue to advocate stiffer penalties for gas flaring in the country.

As part of efforts to tackle the problem of gas flaring the department of petroleum resources is now considering increasing fine for flaring gas to $3.50 per 1,000 cubic feet, up from 10 naira (9 cents),though no date has been fixed for imposing the penalty.

Shell attributed its inability to meet the 2008 deadline to the series of attacks on its facilities and workers, a trend that leaves the working environment unsafe and has hindered the construction of gas gathering equipment in the Forcados Yorki field in Delta.

According to Shell in its website, the gas flaring project is not being funded for completion by government.

Shell said it needs an additional $3 billion for Nigerian projects to build equipment to capture gases and for facilities serving 1,000 wells.

The United Nations set a deadline to end flaring, or burning off natural gas, by 2008 under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The release of gas into the atmosphere is seen as a potential agent for global warming. and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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