Global Gas Flaring Estimates

Gas flaring is a widely used practice for the disposal of natural gas in petroleum producing areas where there is no infrastructure to make use of the gas. Gas flaring is widely recognized as a waste of energy and an added load of carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Despite this recognition, there is substantial uncertainty regarding the magnitude of gas flaring. Current estimates of gas flaring volumes rely on voluntary reporting made by corporations and individual countries. There is very little independent data on gas flaring volumes and it is known that some of the reported volumes are low.

The objective of this project, which was commissioned and funded by the World Bank's Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership, is to make estimates of national and global gas flaring volumes based on satellite sensor observations across a series of years - spanning from 1995 through 2005. Preliminary results indicate that this is possible and that the results will elucidate the effectiveness of efforts to reduce gas flaring. Satellite estimates of gas flaring could also be used for improved and spatially explicit estimates of anthropogenic carbon emissions to the atmosphere.

Annual Reports