20th May, 2010
Royal Dutch Shell has pledged to put $700m (Â£486m) towards phasing out the controversial practice of gas flaring at up to 75pc of its Nigerian operations.
The oil company was heavily criticised at its annual meeting on Tuesday for continuing to burn excess gas during oil extraction which green groups blame for environmental pollution and health problems. Climate scientists believe that the practice contributes heavily to global warming.
The consortium behind Nigeriaâ€™s main fields, including the state petroleum company, Shell, Total and Eni will together put $2bn into reducing flaring by piping rather than burning gas.
However, a Shell spokesman could not confirm how long it would take to complete the investment programme or when flaring would be ended entirely.