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posted by CoolHand on Tuesday January 12 2016, @09:21PM   Printer-friendly
from the out-of-control-gas dept.

According to satellite data estimates, 350 million tons of natural gas were wastefully burned at the wellhead in 2012, about 3.5% of worldwide natural gas production. To put this into perspective, this amount of natural gas could provide electrical power to the entire continent of Africa. The CO2 emissions from natural gas flares are roughly equivalent to 10% of all CO2 emissions of the European Union.

The problem, as you might surmise, is the handling and transportation of the natural gas produced as a by-product of oil wells in areas without the infrastructure to handle gas. In addition, some gas produced as oil by-product has relatively low levels of methane. Russia flares more natural gas than any other nation, followed by Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela, Algeria, and the United States.

The World Bank is trying to stop all routine flaring of natural gas by 2030. North Dakota and New Mexico are taking steps to reduce gas flares.


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  • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Wednesday January 13 2016, @08:03AM

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 13 2016, @08:03AM (#288969) Homepage Journal

    What would be worse is to let it just dissipate into the atmosphere. Methane is a much more effective greenhouse gas than the CO2 it burns into.

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  • (Score: 2) by Alfred on Wednesday January 13 2016, @06:23PM

    by Alfred (4006) on Wednesday January 13 2016, @06:23PM (#289173) Journal
    Yup. That is exactly why flares were invented (decades before the EPA existed). The refinery could burn it or dump it in the river.