The Nigerian government has set a new goal to end gas flaring in the nation's oil and gas sector by 2007, one year earlier than the original deadline set by oil companies operating there, a Nigerian official said on condition of anonymity. He said the Federal Ministry of Environment will meet with oil industry representatives to discuss the new deadline.
Oil companies operating in Nigeria are concerned about the enormous cost of ending flaring. Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, however, one of the major operators in the region, has already set the year 2006 as its target to end gas flaring.
Flaring is a major environmental issue in the oil-rich Niger Delta, with about 100 gas-flaring sites. Some flares have been burning ceaselessly for 40 years. Currently, Nigeria flares about 60% of its associated gas.