Owing to current cases of gas flaring in the petroleum sector, Nigeria has commenced the use of a satellite tracking system to help it bring in more than $1billion annually in fines for illicit gas flaring.
The new gas flare tracker is an online map that will show data from a United States National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration satellite which will observe natural gas fires when orbiting over Nigeria.
The measurements it records will feed into estimates of how much gas is burned, its carbon dioxide content, and its potential value.
Environment Minister, Laurentia Mallam disclosed at an event unveiling the system in Abuja, that it has the capacity to calculate the amount of unpaid fines owed by facility owners, estimated at $1.1bn per year.
While it was outlawed in 1984, the burning of gas that occurs in oil deposits is still one of the major causes of human and environmental issues across the country, she said.
The minister disclosed that If supported, gas could meet 40% of energy needs in Nigeria, as the country is presently struggling to generate enough electricity to keep the lights on for more than two or three hours a day in some parts of the country.
The tracking system will paint a “stark picture of the extent of gas flaring in this country,” the Britain’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Andrew Pocock, said at the occasion.
The project was supported by the United Kingdom Department for International Development.