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EnergyCC major studies on Nigeria Super Emitters published by Oxford Policy Management

Feb 12, 2024

Oil & Gas Industry

Using satellite technology to identify ‘super emitter’ gas flares in Nigeria

EnergyCC conducted two major studies for the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), the Nigerian Regulator, on reducing onshore and offshore gas flaring.

The studies focused on analyzing super emitters using satellite data and other publicly available source materials. Two extensive reports documenting the methodology and the results are now published. The work was commissioned by Oxford Policy Management Ltd and funded by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office: https://www.opml.co.uk/blog/using-satellite-technology-identify-super-emitter-gas-flares-nigeria    

The work builds on three peer-reviewed publications commissioned by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research: https://www.wider.unu.edu/event/extractives-development-work-presented-center-global-development-webinar

Draft versions of the reports were shared with all operators of the super-emitter flares and their comments are included.


The first report: “Nigeria’s super-emitter flares - an evaluation of trends and causes of natural gas wastage: reducing emissions and improving human health. A regional analysis of onshore global super-emitter flares in the Niger Delta region” is available here: onshore facilities

The report documents the use of satellite data to measure not only the volume of gas flared but also flare quality. Poor flare operations result in methane and other chemical emissions which cause health impacts and affect food security, as well as climate.

The analysis covers four super emitter and related flares in the Niger Delta area.  It finds that flaring from 2017 to 2020 increased by 24%, and from 51 flares to 62 flares. The amount of gas flared is enough to power more than 192,650 CNG commercial vehicles. The value of these 62 gas flares in 2020 is estimated at $730 million per year, based on Q4 2021 LNG prices.

The report documents the significant benefits for local communities living close to the main flares if these flares are reduced in volume and if flare quality is improved.


The second report:Nigeria’s super-emitter flares - an evaluation of trends and causes of natural gas wastage: an analysis of five offshore global super-emitter flares and their related field performances” is available here: offshore facilities 

The five offshore assets are all owned and operated by international oil companies. They were designed not to flare routinely. Yet each of these assets flares at a scale that make them super-emitters at a global scale. The assets are responsible for about 11-15% of Nigeria’s total gas flaring, and comprise about one quarter of Nigeria’s oil production.

One offshore asset connected to the Nigeria LNG plant is estimated to have flared 125 million m3 of gas, worth $37 million as LNG in 2021. Another offshore asset is planned to be converting its oil fields to gas production, and has raised $5 billion in loans for a Floating LNG facility, to process the gas.


Both reports discuss how solutions to tackle super-emitters confirm the importance of implementing EnergyCC’s Diamond model. This requires public-private sector action, combining: 1) satellite measurement; 2) transparency; 3) gas monetization technologies; and 4) fiscal and regluatory measures.

Unlike other climate change measures, policies to achieve these emissions reductions do not require new technologies or large financing by governments. Rather, they can generate significant additional fiscal revenues and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


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