Global gas flaring in 2019 ‘hit highest level in a decade’

Russia, Iraq, the US and Iran are the four biggest flarers and account for almost half of global gas flaring, according to a new report

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Global gas flaring in 2019 increased to the highest level in a decade.

That’s according to a new report by the World Bank, which suggests global burning of natural gas associated with oil extraction increased in 2019 to 150 billion cubic metres, which is equivalent to the total annual gas consumption of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Researchers attribute this rise to increases of gas flaring in three countries – the US where it was up by 23%, Venezuela with a 16% jump and Russia with a higher level of 9% compared to the previous year.

Figures also suggest Russia, Iraq, the US and Iran continue to account for almost half of global gas flaring.

Christopher Sheldon, Practice Manager in the Energy and Extractives Global Practice, World Bank, said: “Our data suggests gas flaring continues to be a persistent problem, with solutions remaining difficult or uneconomic in certain countries.

“The current Covid-19 pandemic and crisis bring additional challenges, with sustainability and climate concerns potentially sidelined. We must reverse this worrying trend and end routine gas flaring once and for all.”

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