New Telegraph

Gas Flaring: Reps Query IOCs For Under Paying Penalties

The House of Representatives on Tuesday picked holes in the practice of International Oil Companies (IOCS) not paying the correct amount of money due to penalties imposed on them for gas flaring, charging them to reconcile their positions and ensure that the exact amounts are paid.

Chairman of the House ad-hoc committee investigating the incidence of gas flaring in the country from 2013 till date, Hon. Ahmed Munir told the IOCs and regulatory bodies to take advantage of their presence at the resumed investigation to plan and ensure that the amount of gas submitted by the operators as being flared is not solely determined by them, but with inputs and certification from independent regulators.

In his presentations at the hearing, the vice chairman of Mobil Producing (Nigeria) Unlimited (MPN), Adesua Dozie submitted that for the period under review, the oil Major Exxon Mobil paid $129 million as fines for gas flaring while MPN paid $124.2 million into FG consolidated revenue account as penalty for gas flaring.

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

Both oil majors spoke glowingly of their concerted efforts at drastically reducing gas flaring in line with global trends, which they claimed was already yielding results as the cubic measurement of gas now flared at their various operational bases has reduced by more than half.

However, representatives of the regulatory department of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources expressed scepticism over the saintly picture painted by the international oil companies of their operations, insisting that the IOCs have a knack for keeping their gas metering and its readings to themselves, shutting out an independent assessment.

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

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