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Flare near Pittsburgh Mills Mall. Photo: Caelan Borowiec (Source: http://www.marcellus-shale.us/gas_flares.htm )

Flare near Pittsburgh Mills Mall. Photo: Caelan Borowiec
(Source: http://www.marcellus-shale.us/gas_flares.htm )

These can be considered at the global, national and local level.

Since 2002, the World Bank has supported a Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR), which promotes good practice and encourages the development of markets for AG. So far gas flaring worldwide has dropped from 172 billion cubic meters in 2005 to 140 billion in 2011, that’s equivalent to taking 52 million cars off the road.

Where regulation is strong many oil companies act to reduce gas flaring and venting GGFR describes a number of projects delivered by major companies here.

Regulations at any level yield the best results when supported by sound pricing for natural gas. The lower the price of delivered gas, the more producers will resist efforts to reduce flaring. The higher the price, the more waste reduction becomes profitable with the regulations simply acting as a backstop.

Some regions of the world have achieved outstanding reductions in flaring and venting over past decades: e.g. as a result of the UK Flaring Policy, whereas in 1980 63% of British North Sea AG was flared or vented, by 2005 this had dropped to 3% even though the production of AG had multiplied almost tenfold.

Basrah Gas Company announced on 1 May 2013 that it will be the world’s largest flares reduction initiative capturing natural gas at three oil fields in southern Iraq.

Sadly, many of these initiatives fail to address community concerns at the local level. A lack of infrastructure and local markets are frequently cited as reasons for the dearth of community-based initiatives.

Living Earth is delivering a community-based Gas to Power project to use the gas flare at a flow station in the Niger Delta to produce electricity.

Further information:
The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) 2000 Report: Flaring & venting in the oil & gas exploration & production industry

 

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