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EghtesadOnline: Over a tenth of gas flares in the Permian Basin, the large oil field in the southwest of the US, tend to malfunction and release unlit methane into the atmosphere, the Environmental Defense Fund has reported.

According to the fund, one in ten flares either didn’t burn the methane completely, with some of it escaping into the atmosphere, or they didn’t burn it at all, releasing it as it is, Oil Price reported.

Malfunctioning and unlit flares are a longstanding problem for the industry and one of the largest sources of methane emissions in the Permian,” said EDF scientist David Lyon. 

“The fact that we have not seen any improvement in flare performance over three separate surveys tells us that industry and regulators need to get much more serious about the problem. The best solution is to eliminate routine flaring altogether.”

Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide although it dissipates more quickly in the atmosphere than CO2. Recently, methane has attracted growing attention from both environmentalists, regulators, and the energy industry itself, with several companies pledging to start monitoring their methane emissions.

Flaring is a serious problem and it is getting increasingly serious. The World Bank reported earlier this week that global gas flaring last year jumped to 150 billion cubic meters, from 145 bcm in 2018.


oil gas environmental methane atmosphere