A global initiative to end routine gas flaring at oil sites could help save 100 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
New figures revealed by the World Bank at the COP21 climate conference showed it has been endorsed by 45 companies, governments and other institutions.
They represent more than 40% of global gas flaring.
During oil production, associated gas is produced and some of it is flared because of technical, regulatory or economic constraints, the World Bank stated.
As a result, thousands of gas flares at oil production sites worldwide burn about 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, causing 350 million tonnes of CO2 every year, it added.
The ‘Zero Routine Flaring by 2030’ scheme was launched in April by World Bank Group’s President Jim Yong Kim.
It encourages oil companies to seek economically viable solutions to eliminate ongoing “legacy” flaring by 2030.
It also ensures when new oil fields are developed companies’ plans include gas utilisation solutions which do not involve routine flaring or venting.
Some of the governments and companies joining the initiative are Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) as well as BP.
Anita Marangoly George, World Bank Senior Director for Energy and Extractive Industries said: “The oil and gas industry has a responsibility to cut routine gas flaring to zero. Ending routine gas flaring not only stops millions of tons of CO2 going into the atmosphere every year, it can contribute to improving the life of the people who live around gas flare sites. If converted to power, the flared gas can produce electricity to light up the African continent.”