In Washington, DC:
Mauricio Rios (202) 458-2458
Washington, DC, June 12 — The World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership (GGFR) today officially welcomed Gabon, Iraq and the European Union as the newest partners who have joined other major oil producing countries and companies in reducing the burning of natural gas or flaring.
“Gas flaring reduction is an important element in our efforts to help developing countries use their natural resources in ever less carbon-intensive ways,” says Somit Varma, Director of the World Bank Group’s Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals Department. “We welcome our new partners into the GGFR partnership and look forward to working with them to reduce flaring and expand access to a cleaner energy source.”
The GGFR partnership held its steering committee meeting at the end of May in Houston, where some of the new partners were introduced. The EU is joining the gas flaring partnership as a donor organization whereas Gabon and Iraq are joining as client countries. Iraq is the fourth largest flaring country in the world, with some 7 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas flared every year. Gabon flares about 2 bcm annually.
At the meeting in Houston, World Bank’s Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala addressed the participants through a recorded message, in which she explained how gas flaring reduction has important links to broader energy issues like energy security, energy access, and climate change mitigation.
“Gas flaring reduction is very relevant in today’s important debate on energy issues. In this debate, everyone is looking for win-win solutions that avoid climate change and provide access to energy and thus increase economic growth,” said Okonjo-Iweala. “These should be sufficient reasons to step up our efforts in reducing global gas flaring and increasing gas utilization.”
Okonjo-Iweala, who was a former minister of finance in Nigeria, also noted that although the GGFR partnership has achieved some important milestones over the past five years, “we also know that a significant reduction of gas flaring needs to be achieved in order to complete the mission with the desired impact.”
The GGFR partnership estimates that globally at least 150 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas are flared or wasted every year, adding about 400 million tons of greenhouse gases in annual emissions. This is equivalent to almost all the potential yearly emission reductions from projects currently submitted under the Kyoto mechanisms.
The major flaring region in the world is Russia and the Caspian (about 60 bcm); followed by the Middle East and North Africa region (about 45 bcm). Sub-Saharan Africa (about 35 bcm) is the third flaring region, followed by Latin America with some 12 bcm of gas flared annually.
GGFR is a public-private partnership of governments, state-owned companies and major international oil companies committed to reducing flaring and venting worldwide. The GGFR partnership facilitates and supports national efforts to use the associated gas that comes with oil production and thus reduce flaring, by tackling the lack of effective regulatory frameworks and the constraints on gas utilization, such as insufficient infrastructure and poor access to local and international energy markets, particularly in developing countries.
The top 20 major flaring countries in the world include: Russia, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, Angola, Venezuela, Qatar, Algeria, the United States, Kuwait, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Mexico, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Congo, the United Kingdom, and Gabon.