Flaring of gas contributes to climate change and impacts the environment through emissions of CO2, black carbon and other pollutants. It also wastes a valuable energy resource that could be used to advance the sustainable development of producing countries. For example, if this amount of gas were used for power generation, it could provide about 750 billion kWh of electricity, or more than the African continent’s current annual electricity consumption. While associated gas cannot always be used to produce power, it can often be utilized in a number of other productive ways or conserved (re-injected into an underground formation).
The “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative, introduced by the World Bank, brings together governments, oil companies, and development institutions who recognise the flaring situation described above is unsustainable from a resource management and environmental perspective, and who agree to cooperate to eliminate routine flaring no later than 2030.
The Initiative pertains to routine flaring and not to flaring for safety reasons or non-routine flaring, which nevertheless should be minimized. Routine flaring of gas is flaring during normal oil production operations in the absence of sufficient facilities or amenable geology to re-inject the produced gas, utilize it on-site, or dispatch it to a market. Venting is not an acceptable substitute for flaring.
For hundreds of years, energy has meant growth which has led to economic and social wellbeing. Our challenge for the future is to achieve this in a clean and sustainable manner. We are all committed to playing our part.
How we make a difference
Basrah Gas Company is an Iraqi joint venture established by the Iraqi Government and Shell to meet an Iraqi challenge. That challenge is to turn Basrah Province’s abundant endowment of natural gas into a blessing for the current and future generations. While Iraq has the potential to be one of the world’s top gas producers, it is the fourth largest gas flaring country in the world and has a shortage of natural gas for power generation, LPG and condensate.
The WPC was in Paris for COP21 to put forward its point of view. It supports and encourages governments and all stakeholders in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and manage the risks of climate change. The WPC also appreciates that these stakeholders have a challenge ahead to meet their growing population’s energy demands and support economic development in their countries.
Thousands of gas flares at oil production sites around the globe burn approximately 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, causing more than 300 million tons of CO2 to be emitted to the atmosphere.
Natural gas can be the fuel that provides the secure and reliable power that is a fundamental need of any modern society, but today much of it is wasted. This task force will illustrate how methane saved from flaring could be utilised for power generation, for use as a compressed or liquefied gas or converted to chemicals particularly in Africa.
We aim to:
showcase how the oil and gas industry is helping to bring people out of energy poverty in order to achieve the Sustainable Energy for All goal of the United Nations.
highlight the oil and gas sector technical knowhow to develop solutions which will have an important part to play in contributing to a sustainable energy future.