Nine oil companies and nations including Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Norway and Gabon have committed, for the first time, to end the practice of routine gas flaring at oil production sites by 2030.
According to Statoil CEO ELdar Sætre meeting the target of zero routine flaring by 2030 is a highly important contribution our industry can make towards mitigating climate change.
“In our operations in Norway we do not carry out any routine flaring. This leading performance was made possible by a government determined to avoid waste and maximise value from its natural resources,” Sætre continued.
In 1971 Norway banned routine flaring. Coupled with a price on carbon equivalent of USD 65/ton CO2 today, these measures provided the necessary incentives for both the government and the industry to invest in production and export of gas.
Globally every year, around 140 billion cubic metres of associated natural gas is wastefully burned or flared at thousands of oil fields resulting in more than 300 million tons of CO2 being emitted to the atmosphere – equivalent to emissions from approximately 77 million cars.
The nine oil companies and countries have endorsed the initiative recognising that routine gas flaring is unsustainable from a resource management and environmental perspective.
They have all agreed to cooperate to eliminate ongoing routine flaring as soon as possible and no later than 2030.
“Gas flaring is a visual reminder that we are wastefully sending CO2 into the atmosphere. We can do something about this. Together we can take concrete action to end flaring and to use this valuable natural resource to light the darkness for those without electricity,” said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. “
Overall, Russia and Nigeria have seen the largest reductions but still top the list of flaring countries in 2010, which also includes Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Angola, Kazakhstan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.