Quoting a source from the World Bank, Reuters reported that the U.S. shale energy boom is fueling a rise in the burning of waste gas after years of decline. Global gas flaring increased by about 70 Bcf in 2011, the first rise since 2008, preliminary data from the World Bank shows.
The rise is mostly due to shale oil exploration in North Dakota, propelling the U.S. into the world’s top 10 gas-flaring countries along with Russia, Nigeria and Iraq. The preliminary data shows that global gas flaring crept up to almost 5 Tcf in 2011 (more than 14 Bcf/d).
“The challenge in North Dakota is that there is a lot of initial exploration and production going on, and often some flaring is necessary at that stage,” the source at the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership said. “We are hopeful policymakers and companies in North Dakota will pay more attention to this issue and take the necessary steps to minimize flaring.” Flaring in North Dakota reportedly peaked last year at 170 MMcf/d, more than 60 Bcf at an annual rate.