Since the discovery of the commercial hydrocarbon deposit in 1956, activity of Nigeria's petroleum industry has dramatically increased. The industry now contributes an average of two million barrels of crude oil daily to the global oil market. However, while bringing this development, the industry has become a source of misery for the oil-producing host communities, whose survival is endangered by the scourge of pollution from associated gas flaring. Associated gas (AG) flaring is widely acknowledged as a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, negatively impacting the environment and economy. Given its adverse effects, governments of oil-producing nations and industries have a responsibility to end flaring. Nevertheless, only a few such nations have significantly reduced flaring, while in most other jurisdictions like Nigeria, flaring continues to rise with increased oil production. In this regard, this study critically investigates the appropriateness and effectiveness of the design and enforcement of anti-gas flaring laws and the policy regimes currently operating in Nigeria. The study provided a general overview of the research context, and emphasised the role of effective law and policy regimes in reducing flaring in Nigeria. It critically analysed and addressed the following key issues, among others: the role of appropriately designed anti-gas flaring law and policy regimes; the effectiveness of regulatory enforcement; and the institutional characteristics of an effective flaring regulatory agency. It also addressed other relevant factors that affect flaring volumes, like penalties, incentives and the effects of contractual rights in addressing AG flaring issues. The study argues that Nigeria currently has appropriately designed law and policy regimes, but the enforcement is ineffective. The study finds several reasons that have led to the ineffectiveness and recommends measures that would help the country end gas flaring. The study suggests that oil-producing nations should design and establish clear and precise policies and legislation with independent regulatory agencies to avoid interference and conflict of interest. It also recommends adequate penalties and incentives to encourage effective enforcement of the AG flaring regulations.
MOHAMMED, J.I. 2022. An investigation into the effectiveness of the design and enforcement of Nigeria's anti-gas flaring law and policy regimes, and the considerations of measures that could improve environmental regulatory compliance. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis. Hosted on OpenAIR [online]. Available from: https://doi.org/10.48526/rgu-wt-1893017