Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nigeria: Shell demands government spending to end gas flaring," Business Day, May 9, 2008.

[Something for Canadians with natural gas furnaces to remember next time there is a rate increase. Let's also keep in mind that this "need" for additional funds from its government partner in order to stop poisoning the land and the people with a process that wastes a valuable natural resource violates three important neoliberal principles--capital account liberalization, de-regulation, and the reliance on voluntary compliance with principles of corporate social responsibility instead of regulation. Can't do it. Need more money. Canadians will also recall that oil company representatives have indicated that they will need huge injections of cash in order to pursue the carbon capture will o' the wisp. -jlt]

Nigeria is second to Russia in flaring gas. This country was among more than 160 nations that met in Kyoto, Japan, from December 1 to 11 1997, to negotiate binding limitations on emission of gases for the developed nations, pursuant to the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992.

Shell says it requires an additional $3 billion (N375 billion) and the resolution of the Niger Delta crisis to be able to end gas flaring in the country, insisting that it will be unable to meet the December 2008 deadline due to insecurity in the oil-rich region and funding shortfalls.

The oil giant said in a report on “The elusive goal to stop flares” released during the week that its major challenge in the country was to gather gas from more than 1,000 wells scattered over the Niger Delta which, it said, is larger than Portugal.

According to the company, this means building gas collection facilities at the oilfields and constructing an extensive pipeline network to carry the gas to an industrial facility where it is turned into a liquid for transport.

“Recent experience at Shell illustrates the challenges companies face as they try to put out flares. Shell reduced the amount of gas burned in oilfields by almost 60 percent between 2001 and 2007 as part of a decade-old commitment to halt the practice of continuous flaring by 2008. Shell, however, has struggled to meet that deadline, mainly due to security issues and funding difficulties with its main partners in Nigeria,” the company said.

The company also said that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), a joint venture being operated by Shell and owned 55 percent by the NNPC, 30 percent by Shell and 15 percent by two other partners has invested around $3 billion to reduce flaring.

It however, stated that work had been interrupted by attacks on oil workers and installations.

Read the rest of this article, reproduced by Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria here =>

Related article here =>

Shell-headquarters in the Netherlands is held liable by Friends of the Earth Netherlands/Nigeria and four Nigerians, for the massive damage that oil spills are causing to villages in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. Last Friday, Dutch lawyers representing the plaintiffs summoned Shell to clarify its role concerning oil spills. In early June, based on Shell-headquarters' response, the plaintiffs will decide whether to proceed with the lawsuit.
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