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Natural Gas Flaring Increases Eleven Percent

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By The Maritime Executive 2019-09-21 20:34:00

The value of natural gas flared by 80 different nations around the world has increased by 11 percent to hit a global peak this year of $16.4 billion, according to new data analyzed by Brainnwave.

The data intelligence company says the rise is due to both the rising price of natural gas and the increased volume of gas flared. The volume of natural gas lost to flaring has increased by 3.2 percent, from 140.5 billion cubic meters in 2017 to 145 billion cubic meters in 2018.

Brainnwave pinpointed gas flaring events throughout the world using night-time satellite imagery from visible infrared radiometer data. The data was then used to measure the volume of gas flared. The mean Henry Hub spot price for natural gas was used to estimate its value.

Russia, Iraq, Iran and the U.S. had the highest flaring rate, flaring over 70 billion cubic meters of natural gas – enough to heat 38 million homes for a year, more than all the homes in the U.K. and Ireland combined. 

Steve Coates, CEO of Brainnwave, said: “Gas flaring is a major environmental issue but it is also a commercial one. Oil producers often lack the infrastructure to export natural gas from their wells and face few alternatives but to flare it in order to reach oil.”

The volume of gas flared hit a peak in 2016. Governments oil companies, and development institutions around the world have been encouraged to endorse the World Bank’s “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative. Current levels of gas flaring cause more than 300 million tons of CO2 to be emitted into the atmosphere.