Gas Flaring: Reps direct IOCs to pay penalties to FG coffers

Gaddafi IbrahimSeptember 6, 20232 min

Representatives of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources insisted that IOCs have a reputation for keeping their gas metering and its readings hidden thereby, preventing independent assessment.

The House of Representatives has directed international Oil Companies, IOCs, operating in Nigeria, to reconcile their positions and ensure that the appropriate amount of money is paid as a penalty into the federal government coffers for gas flaring.

The directive follows emerging claims over the accessibility of regulatory agencies in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector to the metering procedures of International Oil Companies flaring gas in their operations.

Chairman, House ad-hoc committee investigating cases of gas flaring in the country from 2013 till date, Rep Ahmed Munir (APC, Kaduna) on Tuesday, told the IOCs and Regulatory bodies to take advantage of their presence at the resumed investigative hearing, to work out modalities to ensure that the amount of gas submitted by the operators as being flared, is not solely determined by them, but with input and certification from independent regulators.

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In separate presentations at the hearing, the Vice Chairman of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited MPN, Adesua Dozie, submitted that for the period under review, oil major, Exxon Mobil, paid a total of $129 million as a fine for gas flaring, while MPN paid $124.2 million into FG consolidated revenue account as penalty for gas flaring.

On his part, the Manager Reservoir of Chevron PLC, Chile Ogele, informed the committee that the company paid a total of $72.66 as fines for gas flaring from 2012 to date.

Both oil majors spoke glowingly of their deliberate commitment to drastically reducing gas flaring in line with international best practices, which they claim is already yielding desired results as the cubic measurement of gas now flared at their various operational bases has reduced by more than half.

On their part, representatives of the regulatory department of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, expressed suspicion over the saintly picture painted by the international oil companies of their operations.

They insisted that the IOCs have a reputation for keeping their gas metering and its readings to themselves, thereby, shutting out independent assessment.

The Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission on its part, explained in detail, the guidelines and processes of installing meters at gas field installation, and described it as all-encompassing as every stakeholder in the regulatory end of the sector is carried along.

In his closing remarks, the committee chairman advised stakeholders scheduled to appear before the panel, to adopt a standard format of presentation that will show how much each IOC paid as a fine, rather than the lumped-up figure contained in most of their presentations submitted to the committee.

 

 

Gaddafi Ibrahim

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