Billions of cubic meters of natural gas is flared annually at oil production sites around the globe. Flaring gas wastes a valuable energy resource that could be used to support economic growth and progress. It also contributes to climate change by releasing millions of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere.
During oil production, the associated natural gas is flared when barriers to the development of gas markets and gas infrastructure prevent it from being used.
The World Bank Group has a leadership role in gas flaring reduction through the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR), a public-private initiative comprising international and national oil companies, national and regional governments, and international institutions. GGFR works to increase use of natural gas associated with oil production by helping remove technical and regulatory barriers to flaring reduction, conducting research, disseminating best practices, and developing country-specific gas flaring reduction programs.
Ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity is also an integral part of GGFR’s strategy. Natural gas resources help countries move toward a more sustainable energy path. It is the fossil fuel with the lowest carbon intensity, at half the footprint of coal at the point of combustion. It can be the least-cost source of flexible electricity supply for grid-based systems with fluctuating supply and demand.
The World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR), in partnership with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Colorado School of Mines, has developed global gas flaring estimates based upon observations from a satellite launched in 2012. The advanced sensors of this satellite detect the heat emitted by gas flares as infrared emissions at global upstream oil and gas facilities. The Colorado School of Mines and GGFR quantify these infrared emissions and calibrate them using country-level data collected by a third-party data supplier, Cedigaz, to produce robust estimates of global gas flaring volumes.
To learn more about GGFR's gas flaring estimates and the methodology for determining the flare volumes from satellite data, please click here.
Gas flaring data 2013-18 for 85 countries
GGFR gas flaring estimates
Upstream gas flaring definitions
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
Mini & micro liquefied natural gas (LNG)
Comparison of Mini-LNG and CNG for commercializing small volumes of associated gas
Policy and regulation