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publicationMay 5, 2022

2022 Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report

2022 gas flaring report


  • Gas flaring, the industry practice of burning natural gas associated with oil extraction, results from market and economic constraints and a lack of appropriate regulation and political will.
  • Efforts to reduce global gas flaring volumes have stalled over the last decade. Significant progress in some countries has not offset flaring increases in others.
  • The 2022 Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report produced by the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR) finds that the top 10 flaring countries accounted for 75 percent of all gas flared.

May 5, 2022  The 2022 Global Gas Flaring Tracker, a leading global and independent indicator of gas flaring, finds that reductions in both absolute flare volumes and flaring intensity have stalled in the last decade, despite strong early progress. Impressive reductions in some countries have not offset concerning increases in others.

The top 10 flaring countries accounted for 75 percent of all gas flaring and 50 percent of global oil production in 2021. Seven of the top 10 flaring countries have held this position consistently for the last 10 years: Russia, Iraq, Iran, the United States, Venezuela, Algeria, and Nigeria. The remaining three; Mexico, Libya, and China, have shown significant flaring increases in recent years.

In 2021, 144 billion cubic meters of gas was needlessly burnt in flares at upstream oil and gas facilities across the globe, resulting in approximately 400 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions, of which 361 MMtCO2e was in the form of CO2 and 39 MMtCO2e was in the form of methane.

2022 gas flaring report

Ending this wasteful and polluting practice is central to the broader effort to decarbonization oil and gas production. Flaring and venting reduction play a critical role in mitigating emissions of methane, which is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide: A kilogram of methane emitted into the atmosphere can trap more than 25 times more heat than a kilogram of emitted carbon dioxide. This raises the often-overlooked importance of integrating the decarbonization of the oil and gas sector into wider climate initiatives and discussions.

During flaring not all of the associated gas is burnt, and a relatively small amount of methane is released uncombusted. As such, efforts to reduce flaring lead to a direct reduction in methane emissions.  However, flaring elimination and gas utilization also play an important role in enabling the effective reduction of methane from other sources, such as venting and fugitive releases. In the absence of a strategy to manage and utilize the gas, these recovered emissions will ultimately be sent to flare and this important energy source will be wasted.  

Ending routine flaring at oil production sites is vital, both to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to conserve the gas for productive purposes—for example to generate electricity in poor communities who rely on dirtier fuels for their energy needs.

Further analysis of the policies driving successful flaring reduction can be found in GGFR's latest review of Global Flaring and Venting Regulations.