World leading energy company, Vitol, says it has been in talks with stakeholders in Nigeria to monetise the country’s flared gas, even as it positions its future growth plan to be driven by gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), particularly in developing countries like Nigeria.
The company’s Head of Gas and Power Investments, Steven Brann, disclosed this yesterday while also noting that this move became imperative as global energy demand approaches its peak.
Brann expressed optimism that qualified natural gas and the acquisition of other assets would help Vitol achieve growth, just as the demand for cleaner-burning fuel is expected to rise in coming years.
Meanwhile, though details are not readily known about Vitol’s ongoing talks with Nigerian stakeholders over the possible monetization of the country’s flared gas, Vitol currently operates in Nigeria where it distributes liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by truck.
The company is also hoping to help Nigerian companies “switch fuel inputs, converting from diesel to trucked LNG or LPG.”
Why is Vitol’s proposed monetization of Nigeria’s flared gas important?
For decades, Nigerian oil companies have been flaring large volumes of the country’s natural gas as they target crude oil. As a matter of fact, the problem is so bad, so much so Nigeria is said to be flaring more natural gas associated with oil extraction than any country in the world.
Unfortunately, not only does this trend result in economic losses for the country, it also constitutes health hazards while contributing to global warming. Despite agitations from different quarters to get the problem solved, no concrete steps have been taken until now.
Below are some of the ways Vitol’s engagement could help solve the problem:
Nigeria can earn millions of dollars by exploring and fully utilizing its large volumes of natural gas. Note that the country currently losses an average of ₦217 billion per annum to gas flaring.
The country can also generate thousands of direct employment to its teaming youths by facilitating this deal with Vitol.
The country’s epileptic power crisis can also be solved by making use of its gas in electricity production.
Also, the myriads of health hazards (including soots) currently created by gas flaring can be eliminated.
Founded in 1966, Vitol is one of the world’s biggest energy and commodities companies with operations in about forty countries of the world including Nigeria.