| Click for the Finfacts Ireland Portal Homepage |

Finfacts Business News Centre

News Main Page 
 
 News
 Irish
 European
 International
 Asia-Pacific Business Week
 
 Analysis/Comment

RSS FEED


How to use our RSS feed

 
Web Finfacts

Welcome

Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and you are in its business news section.

We provide access to live business television and business related videos from: Bloomberg TV; The Wall Street Journal; CNBC and the Financial Times. Click image:

Links

Finfacts Homepage

Global News

Bloomberg News

CNN Money

Cnet Tech News

Newspapers

Irish Independent

Irish Times

Irish Examiner

New York Times

Financial Times

Technology News

 

Feedback

 

Search

News : International Last Updated: Dec 19th, 2007 - 13:17:15


World Bank says global gas flaring amounts to $40 billion annually at US market value; Emits some 400 million tons of carbon dioxide
By Finfacts Team
Aug 31, 2007, 06:41

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

 

The first globally consistent survey of gas flaring has been conducted using satellite data, and a series of national and global estimates of gas flaring volumes have been produced covering a twelve-year period spanning 1995 through 2006.

 

The survey, which was commissioned and funded by the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership (GGFR), was executed by scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

 

When crude oil is brought to the surface from several kilometers below, gas associated with such oil extraction usually comes to the surface as well.  If oil is produced in areas of the world which lack gas infrastructure or a nearby gas market, a significant portion of this associated gas may be released into the atmosphere, un-ignited (vented) or ignited (flared).

 

Gas flaring estimates, which were produced for sixty countries or areas around the world, show that global gas flaring has remained largely stable over the past twelve years, in the range of 150 to 170 BCM. 

 

According to the satellite data, in 2006 oil producing countries and companies burned about 170 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas worldwide or nearly five trillion cubic feet. That’s equivalent to 27% of total U.S. natural gas consumption and 5.5% of total global production of natural gas for the year. If the gas had been sold in the United States instead of being flared, the total US market value would have been about $40 billion.  Gas flaring also emits some 400 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. 

 

“Gas flaring not only harms the environment by contributing to global warming but is a huge waste of a cleaner source of energy that could be used to generate much needed electricity in poor countries around the world,” says Bent Svensson, manager of the Bank’s GGFR partnership“In Africa alone about 40 billion cubic meters of gas are burned every year, which if put to use could generate half of the electricity needed in that continent.”

 

Flaring or burning of gas is widely used to dispose of natural gas liberated during oil production and processing when this occurs in remote areas far from potential users, where there is often no infrastructure on site to make use of the gas. In recent years, however, renewed efforts are being made to eliminate flaring, such as re-injecting it into the ground to boost oil production, converting it into liquefied natural gas for shipment, transporting it to markets via pipelines, or using it on site for generation of electricity.

 

“This study proves that it is possible to monitor gas flaring from space and make reasonable and independent estimates of the volume being wasted,” says Christopher Elvidge a scientist with NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) and lead author of the study.  “In the past, the only way to track gas flaring was through official estimates, but now those days are over. These independent figures should help governments and companies alike to get a better sense of how much gas they are actually flaring.”

 

Since this is the first study of gas flaring using satellite observations, scientists warn that these preliminary results should be used with caution, as there still are several sources of error and uncertainty, including variations in flare efficiency, misidentification of flares, non-continuous sampling, and environmental effects.

 

  

 

According to the satellite observations, 22 countries have increased gas flaring over the past 12 years. These include: Azerbaijan, Chad, China, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Myanmar, Oman, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russia (excluding Khanty Mansiysk region), Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

 

On the other hand, the satellite observations show that 16 countries have decreased gas flaring from 1995 to 2006, including Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, Cameroon, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria, North Sea, Norway, Peru, Syria, UAE and USA (offshore).

 

And nine countries have had largely stable gas flaring across those 12 years. These include Australia, Ecuador, Gabon, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Khanty-Mansiysk (Russian Federation), Romania, and Trinidad.

 

The authors used low-light imaging data from the U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program to assess the volumes of gas burned in flares, which are visible in observations of nighttime lights under cloud-free conditions. Current and planned satellite sensors will continue to provide data suitable for estimating gas flaring volumes for decades to come.  GGFR encourages on-site monitoring as well to help track changes in gas flaring volumes and to report progress in reducing flaring. 


© Copyright 2007 by Finfacts.com

Top of Page

International
Latest Headlines
Markets News Wednesday: Stocks deep in red ink across the globe: Asia-Pacific and Europe slump following grim day in New York
Apple launches MacBook Air - the world’s thinnest notebook
Europe suffered a slowdown in labour productivity in 2007; Rich countries face struggle to achieve rises in living standards
Wednesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories
Intel reports 51% rise in Q4 2007 net income but cautious outlook for 2008 sends shares plunging 14% in after-hours trading
Markets News Afternoon: Citi rains heavily on markets in Europe and US - Dublin plunges almost 4%
US retail sales fell in December signalling that consumer spending is under strain; Producer/Wholesale prices rose 6.3% in 2007 - the highest since 1981
Citigroup reported Q4 2007 loss of $9.83 billion; Write-downs and increased credit costs were a massive $22.2 billion
Markets News Tuesday: Citi bad news awaited; Markets fall in Asia-Pacific and Europe; Dollar up from near record low against Euro; Gold price over $900
Hong Kong and Singapore again head Index of Economic Freedom; Ireland gets third ranking
Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories
US Hedge Fund Index shows return of 11.15% in 2007 - More than double the S&P 500 performance
Markets News Afternoon: Stocks rally in US and Europe boosted by positive fourth quarter data from IBM and SAP
IBM reports strong fourth quarter preliminary earnings boosted by Asia, Europe and Emerging Countries
Markets News Monday: Start of US fourth quarter earnings season has investors worried about how banks and brokerages have performed
Monday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories
US study says Environmental Factors shaping New Global Economy
Markets News Afternoon: Report say Merrill Lynch will announce $15bn loss next week; Stocks down in US and Europe - Dublin market up; Gold tops $900
US trade deficit increased to $63.1 billion in November
OECD Composite Leading Indicators signal a downswing in all major OECD economies