The federal government has increased the penalty for gas flaring to $2 per 1,000 standard cubic feet of gas, SCF, from N10 per 1,000 SCF earlier imposed as sanction for the offence.
In the latest gazetted ‘Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018,’ released by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, government stipulated also a fine of N50,000 or a six months jail term or both, for anyone who provides inaccurate flare data.
According to the document presented by Mr.
Justice Derefaka, Program Manager, Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme, NGFCP, Office of the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, for any organization producing 10,000 barrels of oil or more, the gas flare penalty had been increased to $2 per thousand standard cubic feet of gas.
Similarly, any entity producing less than 10,000 barrels of oil per day would pay $0.50 per thousand standard cubic square feet of gas, irrespective of whether it is routine or non-routine flaring.
However, the latest gazetted regulations stipulate that the producer would not be liable in a situation “where the flaring was caused by an act of war, community disturbance, insurrection, storm, flood, earthquake or other natural phenomenon which is beyond the reasonable control of the producer.” In addition, the just published regulatory regime indicated that in a situation where a producer failed to provide flare gas data to a request made under regulation 4 of these regulations or failed to supply accurate or complete flare gas data, such producer would be forced to pay a fine of $2.50 per day, for every 1,000 SCF of gas flared or vented within the oil field or marginal field.
Other penalties stipulated within this category are that where the producer fails to provide a qualified applicant with access to any flare site; fail to provide a permit holder with access to any flare site or to flare gas as provided in the permit; fail to prepare, maintain or submit the logs or records or reports required by the regulation within the time required to do so by the DPR, the penalty of $2.50 per day.
This also applies to situation whereby the producer fail to install metering equipment within the time required to do so by the DPR; or fail to agree to enter into a concession agreement with a permit holder.
The regulations stipulate further: “In the event of the continued failure of the producer to comply with any of the requirements of this regulation, the minister may direct the producer to suspend the operations or revoke any Oil Mining Lease or marginal field awarded to the producer.”