Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR)
The GGFR was established in 2002 in Johannesburg at the Summit on Sustainable Development. The main goal of the initiative was to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and improve energy efficiency and access. The second thing was the interest in making profits from the wasted resource to spur economic growth. The whole process was to be based and sponsored by public-private partnerships to reduce gas emissions.
In the meantime, the GGFR Partnership expanded vastly including many member countries from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the USA. A total of 19 countries cooperates with the GGFR. There are also significant oil companies that entered cooperation with the organization such as ConocoPhillips, Shell, Statoil, BP, Chevron, Marathon Oil, etc. A total of 9 oil companies are on the list of GGFR. The World Bank and the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) are the biggest initiators and supporters of the GGFR cause.
It has been found that approximately 360 million tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere on an annual basis, whereby around 140 billion of gas is globally flared per year. The GGFR Initiative recognized the risk of an increased gas emission, due to new oil production increase and new emerging production countries.
The Reasons Gas is Flared
Flaring gas is an important safety procedure in the hazardous environment where gas is extracted, reducing the pressure in the plant equipment, especially when operating under uncertain circumstances. But also, flaring is a major air polluter and needs to be held under control as the AG or flare gas represents a bi-product. The uncertainty that the industry carries with itself damages the image on a global scale and diminishes market attractiveness. The uncertainty has to be addressed to a greater level which will also lead to reduction of flared gas.
When it comes to oil production, AG rates vary. Gas is also flared because the infrastructure is weak and it should be better streamlined. There is also the lack a legal and regulatory frameworks that would upgrade the norms and standards. Domestic gas markets are not yet developed enough, whereby gas production is often carried out away from key markets.
Besides certain technical limitations, one of the reasons is also that governments lack the will to take initiative since they prefer oil revenues to stay lucrative. Oil producers are also impatient to collect returns on their investments, which further advances flared gas production.
What Can be Done to Reduce Flaring?
Investing in infrastructure improves immensely the cause of reducing flaring. The needed steps include minimizing flaring through proper equipment, as well as matching the demand and supply in order to create a balance.
Technology might have come a long way, but it still can be further polished in the gas market by developing wired gas delivery. This would result in the creation of new markets for clean gas, as well as transfer gas to the markets at lower costs. The new technology would also generate more profits which would result in a reduction of gas reserves.
When it comes to the law and regulation of the market, the policy makers could introduce fines and higher taxes for flaring which would probably result in the reduction of it.
The GGFR and the World Bank Joint Efforts
Since it is clear that flaring billions of cm of gas at gas sites is jeopardizing the environment, the WB and GGFR try to promote a more comprehensive approach in the gas market. According to them, the wasted energy resource could be used more efficiently and spur further economic growth. The emission of carbon dioxide affects climate change, which has been one of the hottest topics among politicians in the last decade.
Therefore, the GGFR initiative together with the WB tries to secure a healthier environment and a better, streamlined gas production by bringing together all parties that participate in the gas market. They are governmental institutions, private gas company owners, and public gas companies at the national, regional, international, and even global level.
The initiative participated in drafting custom-made plans for different countries to reduce flaring, and they also lead by example with their approach. They make market researches, analyses, and everything possible to promote the idea of flaring reduction further. That research material eventually provides backup support when calling for amendments to the law related to the gas industry.
The GGFR’s genuine aim is to move towards a world without flaring, and they seem to have a worked-out agenda to accomplish their mission.