The call to stop gas flaring by oil companies appears to be given more thought as there are calls by many people to put an end to the practice and convert the flared gas to meaningful economic resource.
For instance, a World Bank spokesman said it was unfortunate that companies are burning off gas at the wellhead, describing natural gas as a bridge fuel to a low-carbon economy.
An energy and extractives industry spokesman for the World Bank, Zubin Bamji, said in an interview that the technical, economic and regulatory obstacles to reducing flaring must be overcome in the spirit of responsible resource management.
“Gas flaring is a wasteful industry practice that deserves more attention. Governments and oil companies need to work together to identify solutions, whether technical, regulatory, financial, or a combination of all,” he said.
The World Bank said gas flaring adds to the amount of potent greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere, noting that it is also wasting a valuable source of energy, which, if captured, could provide more electricity than the entire African continent currently consumes.
Bamji said: “Working together, many countries and companies have shown that flaring can be reduced and even eliminated. Time and again we have seen that when industry sets a target and aligns its efforts with government, the results can be astonishing in scale and dimension.”
Also, bicameral leaders said the U.S. Interior Department needs to take steps to ensure gas associated with produced reserves is not wasted, or flared.
The House and Senate Democrats had issued a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary, Sally Jewel, urging her to review a report from the Government Accountability Office finding that federal standards on gas capturing are behind the curve.
According to the report, the letter states that most of the gas vented from federal lands is methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
“Eliminating this waste not only would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing some 3.1 million cars from the road, but would generate $23 million annual for the federal government,” the letter read.
Jewell said that her agency would propose standards meant to cut emissions and reduce the amount of gas wasted during flaring.
The secretary said while the Interior Department will do its part, part of the onus lies with industry and state leaders, noting that many of the regulations on the books were the same as the ones in place when she was working in the private energy sector more than 30 years ago.
Source : Independent