By Ibrahim Sheriff
Global progress to reduce gas flaring, the wasteful industry practice of burning natural gas during oil production, has stalled over the last decade. According to the World Bank, the 2022 Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report shows that 144 billion cubic meters of gas was flared at upstream oil and gas facilities in 2021.
The UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) and Global Methane Pledge (GMP) had underscored the growing urgency for governments, companies, and development organizations to accelerate decarbonizing the global economy.
According to World Bank reports, the 144 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas needlessly flared at upstream oil and gas facilities across the globe in 2021 is estimated to have resulted in approximately 400 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions globally.
World Bank noted that “Ending this polluting practice must be central to decarbonization efforts. Not only could the gas wasted displace dirtier fuels and increase energy access in some of the world’s poorest countries, but by utilizing the gas that is currently being flared, the world could make significant progress towards much- needed energy security.”
“The volume of gas flared worldwide is greater than the European Union’s 27 member states gas imports from Russia”, it added.
“Flaring reduction also plays a critical role in mitigating methane emissions, by eliminating a direct source of methane released un-combusted from flares and enabling the gas successfully conserved through reductions in venting and fugitive emissions to be utilized rather than flared.”