KUALA LUMPUR (Apr 21): The World Bank with its “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative has sought to prevent the wasteful burning of gas as well as release of carbon monoxide (CO) into the atmosphere.
In a statement on its website last week, the World Bank said chief executives from major oil companies had joined together with senior government officials from several oil-producing countries to commit, for the first time, to end the practice of routine gas flaring at oil production sites by 2030 at the latest.
It said the initiative, already endorsed by nine countries, ten oil companies and six development institutions, was launched today by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Kim Jim Yong.
The Bank said the endorsers collectively represent more than 40% of global gas flaring.
It said that every year, around 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas produced together with oil was wastefully burned or “flared” at thousands of oil fields around the world.
“This results in more than 300 million tons of CO being emitted to the atmosphere — equivalent to emissions from approximately 77 million cars.
“If this amount of associated gas were used for power generation, it could provide more electricity (750bn kWh) than the entire African continent is consuming today,” it said.
The Bank however said that currently, the gas was flared for a variety of technical, regulatory, and economic reasons, or because its use is not given high priority.
Kim said gas flaring was a visual reminder that we are wastefully sending CO into the atmosphere.
“We can do something about this. Together we can take concrete action to end flaring and to use this valuable natural resource to light the darkness for those without electricity,” he said.
The World Bank said that by endorsing the initiative, governments, oil companies and development institutions recognised that routine gas flaring was unsustainable from a resource management and environmental perspective and agree to cooperate to eliminate ongoing routine flaring as soon as possible and no later than 2030.
“They will publicly report their flaring and progress towards the target on an annual basis. Furthermore, routine flaring will not take place in new oil fields developments.
“Governments will provide an operating environment conducive to investments and to the development of functioning energy markets,” it said.