Deputy Gas Minister, NNPC Commit Nigeria To Lower Methane Emissions, List Measures

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo and the Executive Vice President, Upstream of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., (NNPC) Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, have pledged Nigeria’s commitment to lower methane emissions.

Ekpo spoke while on a ministerial panel on actions being taken to accelerate compliance with the “methane pledge” at the ongoing 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

The methane pledge targets the reduction of global anthropogenic methane emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2030 and limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The gas minister, according to a statement in Abuja by his spokesman, Louis Ibah, disclosed that Nigeria has set in place guidelines to ensure methane is kept under control, especially in the oil and gas sector.

Ekpo listed measures adopted by the country to lower emissions to include gas flares commercialisation programmes and establishment of energy transition and carbon monetisation units in regulatory agencies.

He also highlighted that emphasis is now placed on carbon market development and enhanced social governance credentials directly supporting the methane pledge.

He said: “We have the decade of gas initiative to promote low carbon natural gas as preferred choice of fuel and energy in Nigeria. The country is actively steering its energy landscape towards a lower methane intensive path aligning with the methane pledge.

“We are focused on transitioning towards lower methane emissions. We are committed to consistently publishing comprehensive methane emissions data demonstrating accountability and progress in line with the methane pledge. In Nigeria we are doing everything possible to ensure that flare gas is eliminated.”

Meanwhile, the NNPC has expressed its commitment to work with global partners in the march towards reducing methane emissions in oil and gas operations.

A statement by the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC, Olufemi Soneye, said the commitment was made on the sidelines of the release of the Oil and Gas Decarbonisation Charter at the ongoing COP28, taking place in Dubai.

The Charter, the NNPC said, calls on the oil and gas sector to achieve the goal of reaching net-zero emissions for their own operations by 2050. It also includes commitments to achieve near-zero methane emissions and ‘no routine’ flaring by 2030.

Speaking on the development during a Panel Session titled: “Accelerating the Elimination of Methane Emissions & the Decarbonisation of Oil & Gas,” Eyesan said the charter was a major opportunity not just for the NNPC, but for the African sub-region.

“Africa contributes 3 per cent to emissions, but that does not exclude us from the consequences of the emissions. I think the decarbonisation drive and the charter are not just ethical but also a strategic imperative for a major African National Oil Company (NOC) like ours.

“We believe this charter is an important one. We are committed to working with all stakeholders to deliver on that,” Eyesan stated.

She added that to achieve its near-zero methane emissions, Nigeria has since declared this decade as “Decade of Gas”, which is not only geared towards producing more gas for export, but also towards producing gas for local economy and that of the entire African sub-region.

“I assure you that we are open to working with our partners towards achieving zero-flare and methane emission reduction by 2030. This fits perfectly with our dreams, and we consider it achievable,” Eyesan stated.

She described finance and technology as the two major challenges in delivering on the provisions of the charter, noting that for the two problems to be solved, African countries need to work with partners who have the technology and finance.

She said NNPC remains committed to expanding its alternative energy sources through investment in solar, wind, and other renewable sources.

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja