Worried by the level of impunity being perpetuated by the oil and gas sector, the House of Representatives has vowed to recover the sum of over $9 billion in gas flaring fines imposed by the Federal Government on the erring local and foreign companies operating in the oil and gas industry.
Chairman, ad-hoc committee investigating gas flaring, Mr. Ahmed Munir gave the assurance in Abuja, during the post-investigative hearing briefing which was attended by various stakeholders drawn from the Federal Ministry of Environment, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA among others.
According to him, the 10th Assembly will do everything within its powers to ensure the recovery of all unpaid levies and compliance with extant legislations and regulations.
In his address, RMAFC Chairman Gas Monitoring Committee, Mr. Patrick Mgbebu disclosed that the gas flare penalty payment regime from 2013-2018 (2018 Jan-June) was US$0.30, while from 2018 (July-Dec) to 2023 Is pegged at $2.00. The penalties payable amounted to $3,465,299,226.55 and the value of gas would have been $12,403,000,001.20 if the gas was sold and not flared.
While noting that Nigeria has proven gas reserves of 201 trillion standard cubic feet and unproven gas reserves of 600 trillion standard cubic feet, yet the production of gas remains very low and unstable, Mr. Mgbebu called for drastic measures towards tackling the menace.
In his remarks, A Director at the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Olubunmi Olusanya underscored the need to give legislative backing to the use of oil trackers as part of measures aimed at ending the gas flaring menace in the country.
In his presentation, NOSDRA Director General, Mr. Idris Musa, who earlier explained that the extant penalties on gas flaring are to serve as a deterrent, however, recommended that the penalties on gas flaring should be increased.
While stressing the need for improvement on the penalty application process and procedure of the application and collection, he also harped on the need to abolish the dichotomy of penalty administration.
According to him, a total of 3.8 billion Mscf was flared between 2013 and to date while a total sum of $7.6 billion in penalties are payable.
To this end, the lawmakers resolved to investigate the rationale behind $277,258,304.72 disparity in the gas flare penalties computed by NOSDRA and NUPRC.
The Ad-hoc Committee also resolved to summon all the Chief Executive Officers of 19 oil and gas companies and others to appear before the Committee on Tuesday, 25th July 2023.
They are: Total/Mobil JV Domestic Wing; Total/Oando JV; Total Energies; African Petroleum (AP) Plc. now Ardova PLC; Azman Oil & Gas Limited; Matrix Oil & Gas; A. M Shafa Ltd; Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); National Council on Climate Change (NCCC); Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC); Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company (Aje Oilfield Offshore); Sterling Oil Exploration & Energy (SEEPCO); Belemaoil Production Limited; Walter Smith Petroman Oil Limited; Green Energy International Limited Millennium Oil and Gas Company Limited; Folawiyo Energy; Eroton Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited; and Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Ltd.
Oduyemi Odumade, Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Kevin Nwabueze
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