World Bank Releases 2023 Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report
Mon, April 10, 2023
Global gas flaring fell by roughly 3 percent in 2022, according to the World Bank’s 2023 Global Gas Flaring Tracker report. This marks the lowest level for global flaring since 2010, with the majority of the decline coming from the United States, Mexico and Nigeria.
The 5 percent increase of global oil production –from 77 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2021 to 80 million bbl/d in 2022 – while simultaneously reducing flare volume and global flaring intensity indicate a “gradual and sustained decoupling of oil production from flaring” the World Bank said.
Spotlight on the United States
The World Bank specifically spotlighted the United States for its large share of global gas flaring reductions. In just one year, U.S. flaring decreased by 9 percent and flaring intensity dropped from 2.1m3/bbl to 1.8m3/bbl – “a 14% reduction and the lowest value recorded for the United States in the last ten years,” according to the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR). Furthermore, while achieving these reductions the United States also significantly increased oil production by almost six percent between 2021 and 2022.
United States annual flare volume and oil production, 2018 to 2022.
This is noteworthy considering the key role the United States, particularly producers in the Permian Basin, are playing to ensure Europe meets its energy demand by increasing LNG and oil exports following the global unrest spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The fact is the U.S. energy industry has stepped up to meet this demand while simultaneously addressing demand at home.
This is especially true in Texas, where producers have consistently put forth efforts to reduce flaring and emissions. As reported by the Railroad Commission, from June 2019 to May 2021 alone, Texas producers reduced flaring volumes by an estimated 73 percent, and according to the Texas Methane & Flaring Coalition, “natural gas that is flared represents less than 1% of all natural gas produced.” On top of this, the organization composed of seven trade associations and over 40 Texas oil and gas operators has publicly announced that it would “snuff out natural gas flaring in the state by 2030.” These impressive trends are further supported by TNG’s own methane and flaring analysis, which found methane intensity fell 76 percent from 2011 to 2021.
To ensure we continue to meet global demand, the United States and states home to natural gas production should support policies that allow us to continue producing some of the world’s cleanest energy.
As the World Bank report acknowledges, the United States is making tremendous progress in reducing flaring volume and intensity. At the source of this transition are Texas producers who are leading the charge with innovation and a commitment to fueling the world with clean energy. The only thing missing is more legislative and financial support to have an even greater impact.
Correction: A previous version of this blog stated an incorrect percentage increase of crude oil production in the United States between 2021 and 2022. This blog has been updated to reflect that U.S. crude oil production increased almost 6 percent between 2021 and 2022.