ABUJA, Nigeria, May 30 (UPI) -- Nigeria, one of Africa's largest energy producers, will ban the practice of natural gas flaring by the end of the year.
The policy is contained in the country's newly drafted oil bill. After the Russian Federation, Nigeria is the world's second biggest burner of gas associated with crude oil production and the government has long pledged to address the practice.
Under proposed legislation, oil firms must stop flaring gas by the end of 2012. Those that continue the practice will be subjected to fines, The Leadership newspaper reported Tuesday.
The draft version of the Petroleum Industry Bill states: "Natural gas shall not be flared or vented after December 31, 2012, in any oil and gas production operation, block or field, onshore or offshore, or gas facility, except under exceptional and temporary circumstances. Any licensee who flares or vents gas without the permission of the Minister in (special) circumstances ... shall be liable to pay a fine which shall not be less than the value of gas."