Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nigeria: The Country Records Gas Flare Reduction - As FG Rakes in N166 Billion Oil Royalty in Three Months


Adeola Yusuf

Lagos — Nigeria has recorded enormous reduction in gas flare at the oil production platforms in the Niger Delta, Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, Billy Agah, stated at the weekend just as the Federal Government raked in N166.081 billion in royalty and fines for gas flare within the last three months.

Agha, who stated this, maintained that the gas flare in the country is about 18 billion standard cubic feet (scuf) of gas compare to about 25billion scuf last year.

He added that the country also got N166 billion from operations, stating that N165.28 billion out of the total income was for royalties from oil companies.

Speaking at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos, Agha pointed out that the deregulation of the nation's downstream oil sector would jerk up the revenue accruable by government from royalties.

He expressed dissatisfaction at the increasing level of importation of refined product into Nigeria, a major oil producing nation.

"If we don't deregulate, the downstream operation would continue to be very tight. It would be difficult to build refineries because the issue of pricing will always come up. The disparity between export and regulated price would continue to slow the business and base on this I think we should all support the government's effort on deregulation," he said.

The DPR helmsman added his agency is undergoing the audit of oil and gas reserve in Nigeria.

Data submitted by oil and gas companies are, according to him, "been verified to confirm the veracity and with a view to establishing the oil and gas reserve of the country," pointing out that the audit would be completed before the end of 2010.

In the first quarter of 2010, hew said, "the DPR has garnered a total opf N166. 081 billion for the government. The break down of the revenue shows that N165.28 billion was rake-in as royalties, N 530 million as penalty payment for gas flaring, N52 million on concession while N216 million was obtained from miscellaneous."

Expressing dissatisfaction at the increasing spate of importation of refined product, Agha advocated for a technical audit of the four refineries in the country.

He said: "We are importing more refined product I must tell you. Though I cannot readily give data, the level of importation is increasing by the day and this is why I suggest a technical audit of the refineries and government should privatize the refineries."

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