The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill for an Act to prohibit gas flaring in the country.

One of the highlights of the bill is that any person who is acting on behalf of a licensee to supply inaccurate data to the Department of Petroleum Resources or to any other person duly empowered by a lawful authority, commits an offense and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of N10 million or to imprisonment for a maximum term of six months or to both fine and imprisonment.

The bill with 22 sections and includes sanction for inaccurate data collation and submission by the lessee, gas flaring fee, powers of the minister to make regulations, as well as repeal of the Associated Gas Re-injection Act 2004.

Among others, the bill seeks to ensure that natural gas shall not be flared or vented in any oil and gas production operation, block or field, onshore or onshore, or gas facility which shall commence operations after the commencement of the Act.

The bill also seeks to ensure that no operator shall establish an oil and gas facility in Nigeria without obtaining authorisation from the minister for the design phase, the commissioning and the production phases.

Curiously, the bill passed Wednesday was referred to the committee on Gas for further legislative action after it passed second reading in 2017.

The committee thereafter invited industry stakeholders and the general public to a public hearing on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

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