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Invention analysis

2023 Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report: 139 billion m3 gas flared during 2022

Aenert news. Energy resources and infrastructure
The World Bank, in its the 2023 Gas Flaring Tracker Report, states that global gas flaring decreased by about 3% in 2022. Given that gas flaring has remained virtually unchanged over the past 10 years, this reduction is some progress. However, experts stress the need for greater efforts to end this wasteful and polluting practice. In addition, the report's troubling conclusion is that because of uncertainty about surrounding methane destruction efficiency of flares, emissions of CO2 equivalent emissions due to flaring may be higher than previously assumed.

According to satellite estimates, global gas combustion fell from 144 billion m3 in 2021 to 139 billion m3 during 2022, a reduction of 3%. Over the same time period, oil production increased by 5%, from 77 million barrels per day (bbl) in 2021 to 80 million bbl in 2022. Consequently, the amount of gas burned per barrel of oil produced decreased from 5.1 cubic meters of burned gas (m3/barrel) in 2021 to 4.7 m3/barrel in 2022.

Looking at the volume and intensity of flaring in individual countries, the largest contributor to the overall global reduction was Nigeria, which reduced flaring volumes by 1.3 bcm in 2022 (20% below the 2021 level). Mexico also saw a reduction in flaring of about 0.8 bcm, down 13% from 2021. In addition, it is worth noting the stability of the decrease in gas flaring in the United States, where the volume of flaring decreased by 9% (0.8 bcm) from 2021 to 2022. Furthermore, the U.S. also saw a substantial 6% increase in oil production in 2022, which led to a decline in total flaring intensity from 2.1 m3/bbl to 1.8 m3/bbl, the lowest value recorded for the U.S. in a decade. Kazakhstan and Colombia are also noteworthy as countries that have achieved seven consecutive years of reductions in flaring.

The top ten countries responsible for the bulk of all gas flaring and global oil production remained unchanged from last year: Russia, Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Venezuela, the United States, Mexico, Libya, Nigeria, and China. The first nine countries account for 74% of the world's oil combustion and 45% of the world's oil production.

The report also raises the question of how the Russian invasion of Ukraine has affected gas flaring, namely whether reduced gas imports from Russia have intensified gas flaring there and whether some countries' increases in gas exports to Europe have reduced their flaring volumes. According to the provided findings, Russia has not seen a noticeable increase and gas flaring in 2021 and 2022 was virtually unchanged, while oil production increased slightly, by 2%. Most countries, such as the United States, Angola, Norway and Egypt, from which the EU has significantly increased gas imports in the form of LNG, have seen a decline in gas flaring.

By the Editorial Board