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Global Gas Flaring Reduction

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Gas Flaring
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Global Gas Flaring Website


At A Glance 


·         Globally some 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas are being flared and vented each year, equivalent to approximately 30 percent of the European Union’s annual gas consumption.  


·         Burning natural gas, or “flaring” it, is a method of disposing of excess natural gas associated with oil production. Flaring, however, wastes a valuable clean energy resource and emits carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.  Some 400 million tons of CO2 are emitted annually in this way. 


·         Satellite data on global gas flaring, which is a joint effort between GGFR and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), show that overall efforts to reduce gas flaring are paying off.  Flaring of gas associated with oil production has dropped worldwide by almost 20 percent: from 172 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2005 to 140 bcm in 2011, according to latest satellite estimates. 


·         The GGFR partnership, a public-private initiative led by the World Bank Group, facilitates and supports national efforts to use currently flared gas.  It does this by promoting effective regulatory frameworks and tackling the constraints on gas utilization, such as insufficient infrastructure and poor access to local and international energy markets, particularly in developing countries.


·         2012 marks the 10th year anniversary since the GGFR partnership was launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Over this period of time some 85 million tons of CO2 emissions from flaring have been reduced, roughly equivalent to taking 16 million cars off the road.


·         GGFR partners are preparing to scale up their flaring reduction efforts for the period 2013-2015, focusing on helping countries develop gas markets and gas infrastructure, particularly to expand access to cleaner electricity and cooking fuels.


·         Poverty reduction also is an integral part of the GGFR program, which is developing concepts for how local communities close to the flaring sites can use natural gas that may otherwise be flared and wasted.  The program has already evaluated opportunities for small-scale gas utilization in several countries.



A Collaborative Global Standard

GGFR partners have also established a collaborative Global Standard for gas flaring reduction.  This Global Standard provides a framework for governments, companies, and other key stakeholders to consult with each other, take collaborative actions, expand project boundaries, and reduce barriers to associated gas utilization. GGFR partners that have endorsed the Global Standard are committed to no flaring in new projects unless there are no feasible alternatives.


The goal of GGFR is to help overcome the barriers to gas utilization so partners can unlock the value of currently wasted natural gas to improve energy efficiency, expand access to energy, and contribute to climate change mitigation hence promoting sustainable development.


Developing countries face important barriers to reducing gas flaring, including:

  • Limited access to international gas markets as well as  local markets
  • A lack of financing to put the necessary infrastructure in place
  • An undeveloped regulatory framework  

GGFR focuses on four key areas to overcome the barriers to gas flaring reduction:

  • Commercialization of associated gas
  • Regulations for associated gas
  • Implementation of the global flaring and venting reduction standard
  • Capacity building to obtain carbon financing for flaring and venting reduction projects 

Main achievements by GGFR include:

  • Raised global awareness and understanding of gas flaring and venting issues
  • Improved data gathering using satellite imaging to monitor and measure worldwide flaring
  • New regulations on gas flaring in several countries
  • Gas flaring reduction plans under way in various countries
  • Identification and development of gas utilization projects
  • Improved understanding of, and dialogue on, carbon finance mechanisms for flaring reduction
  • Assistance to Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia and other countries to reduce flaring to minimum levels, through increased collaboration among operators, the national oil company and the regulator 

Background on GGFR: Launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in August 2002, the GGFR public-private partnership convenes representatives of governments of oil-producing countries, state-owned companies and major international oil companies so that, together, they can overcome the barriers to reducing gas flaring by sharing global best practices and implementing country specific programs. 


GGFR partners include: Algeria (Sonatrach), Angola (Sonangol), Azerbaijan, Cameroon (SNH), France, Gabon, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Khanty-Mansijsysk (Russia), Kuwait, Mexico (SENER), Nigeria, Norway, Qatar, the United States (DOE) and Uzbekistan; BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ENI, ExxonMobil, Kuwait Oil Company, Marathon Oil, Maersk Oil & Gas, Pemex, Qatar Petroleum, Shell, SOCAR, Statoil, TOTAL, Uzbekneftegas; European Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank Group; Associated partner: Wärtsilä.


For more information, visit: 



Mauricio Ríos: (202) 458-2458,

Christopher Neal: (202) 473-2049,


Updated September 2012


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