The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, said the Federal Government would no longer grant approval for any new gas project that does not abide by its zero gas flare policy.
The NNPC, in a statement in Abuja, said this represented the Federal Government’s commitment to a zero gas flare regime, while stating that it was considering commercialising existing gas flare projects for the benefits of the host communities and the country in general.
Speaking during a visit of the national leadership of Host Communities of Nigeria, HOSTCOM, to the NNPC, Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mr. Maikanti Baru, explained that the corporation would make sure that no new gas project would be approved without zero gas flare modalities.
He stressed that for already existing gas flare projects, NNPC was exploring various options to commercialise the gas flare with a view to eliminating it.
He assured HOSTCOM that NNPC would continue to partner the various communities to enable them benefit from exploitation of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources.
Baru commended HOSTCOM for restoring sanity to the Niger Delta region, saying the relative peace had given operators the leverage to concentrate on production for the benefit of the national economy.
He said: “I want to thank the Oba of Benin for midwifing HOSTCOM and the Traditional rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON). For us as operators, we will continue to dialogue with the bodies so as to create enabling operating environment for the business and for the communities.”
He urged HOSTCOM to partner with the NNPC in stemming the incessant pipeline vandalism, illegal refineries and illegal crude oil bunkering in the Niger Delta, adding that the elimination of those vices would reduce to the barest level, incidences of environmental pollutions.
He noted that the clean-up of Ogoniland had commenced in earnest with the release of the first tranche of the funding for the project since last year, adding that HOSTCOM should ensure that the environment, water and aquatic animals of the region were not impacted negatively by illegal bunkering and breaking of petroleum products pipelines.
Baru pledged the commitment of oil and gas operators to abide by Global Memorandum of Understandings, GMOU, entered into with the communities and noted that GMOUs should not be seen as a replacement for government interventions in communities.
Responding, National Chairman of HOSTCOM, High Chief Benjamin Style Tamaranebi, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and Baru for always granting host communities a listening ear, assuring that HOSTCOM and TROMPCON would continue to collaborate with the Federal Government for the common good of all.
He commended the Federal government for the ongoing clean-up of Ogoniland, while urging that other communities with similar challenges should be cleaned up as well for the well-being of members of such communities.