The oil & gas industry flares about 170 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum, valued at about US $40 billion. Despite the emergent global climate change and the Kyoto protocol, over 20 countries have increased the obnoxious practice of gas flaring in the past 12 years. In Nigeria, gas flaring has become a controversial issue in the polity. Most gas resources in Nigeria had been flared due to the dearth of a nationwide gas infrastructure. However, both economic and environmental imperatives have informed concerted efforts mustered by policy makers in Nigeria to embark on gas utilization and commercialization projects, culminating in the exportation of gas through the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) projects. More gas has also been piped to major industrial estates in Nigeria as alternative fuel. However, more than a third of gas produced in Nigeria is still being flared, with serious implications to the economy and the environment. Therefore, this paper aims at creating a long-term emission-reducing framework for future legislative standards, achieving zero routine flaring and increased cost savings; as well as adopting technologies and strategies that have effectively reduced emissions and benefited production and increased profit.

Carbon Emissions in the Global Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry has emerged as the world's second largest air emission producer. Each year, the industry emits over 150 billion cubic meters of environmentally damaging air emissions through venting, flaring or fugitive leaks and is also responsible for 300 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere (IPIECA/OGP, 2002.24).

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