Industry Commits to End Routine Flaring

Published Apr 17, 2015 5:05 PM by The Maritime Executive

Twenty-five oil companies, oil-producing nations and development organizations have signed an agreement to end the practice of routine flaring of natural gas by 2030.

Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Kuwait Oil Company, Russia, Norway and the Asian Development Bank were among those making the commitment on Friday at the World Bank in Washington.

CEO Eldar Sætre represented Statoil at the signing. “Meeting the target of zero routine flaring by 2030 is a highly important contribution our industry can make towards mitigating climate change,” Sætre said. “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 maximize value from its natural resources.”  

In 1971 Norway banned routine flaring. Coupled with a price on carbon equivalent of $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.

But globally every year, around 140 billion cubic meters of associated natural gas is wastefully burned or flared at thousands of oil fields. This results in more than 300 million tons of CO2 being emitted to the atmosphere - equivalent to emissions from approximately 77 million cars.

Together with Statoil and Norway, the other signatories have endorsed the initiative recognizing 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.