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GGFR Partners Mark 10th Anniversary by Scaling up Flaring Reduction Efforts

Gas FlaringOver the past six years, flaring of gas associated with oil production has dropped worldwide: from 172 billion cubic meters in 2005 to 140 bcm in 2011, according to latest data from satellite estimates.

 The decrease of almost 20% in global flaring has reduced some 85 million tons of CO2 emissions, roughly the equivalent of taking some 16 million cars off the road.

Although important progress has been achieved, some 140 bcm of natural gas are still flared in countries around the world, and the global downward trend in flaring could be reversed for a number of reasons.

Some of these reasons include: oil production has substantially increased in several countries, and the coming years may see significant additional production. Traditional producing countries like Iraq, for instance, may contribute to further global gas flaring, if no action is taken. New off-shore discoveries in Brazil and other countries, and production methods such as shale gas and shale oil in North America, present important challenges and may also lead to a sharp increase in flaring and venting.

The World Bank-led GGFR partnership recently released the 2011 satellite data which show a slight increase of 2 bcm in global flaring volumes, comparing to the previous year. Thus there is a crucial need to sustain, and even scale up, the flaring reduction efforts to make further progress on gas utilization in the next few years.

GGFR partners believe this is the best way to mark this year the 10th anniversary of the World Bank-led GGFR partnership, which in October will gather some 250 representatives from major oil-producing countries and companies at a Global Forum in London. Participants will assess progress made over the past decade, but will also look into the way forward.

In this context, the GGFR’s Steering Committee recently agreed to step up its flaring reduction efforts by working along the whole gas value chain, including activities to develop gas infrastructure and markets particularly in developing countries. One of the major goals is to increase the utilization of previously flared gas to expand access to electricity and cleaner household fuels.

The expansion of this work scope aims to sustain and, if possible, accelerate the downward trend on flaring reduction that we have witnessed over the past few years.

With this clear mandate, the GGFR partners are now getting ready for the next phase of work covering the period 2013-2015. This phase will focus on a more comprehensive approach to the gas flaring reduction efforts, including both upstream and downstream activities.

This broader effort is also consistent with other global development initiatives such as the Sustainable Energy for All program (SEFA), recently launched by the UN.

Last updated: 2012-09-25

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