SOCAR Agrees to End Routine Gas Flaring

SOCAR Agrees to End Routine Gas FlaringSOCAR Agrees to End Routine Gas Flaring

Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR fully supports a World Bank initiative to end the practice of routine gas flaring at oil production sites.

The statement was made by a company spokesman, commenting on WB’s proposal to establish a single international standard for oil and gas companies regarding gas flaring, Azer News reported.

The national energy company has joined the WB’s “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative in line with global oil giants and was the fifth company to sign this initiative.

“SOCAR is one of the first to join the WB’s and United Nations' initiative combining forces to end routine gas flaring by 2030. We have achieved sufficient successes in this sphere. SOCAR is working and will continue to maintain a great job in this direction. Therefore, we fully support the WB’s initiative, which will reduce environmental pollution,” SOCAR’s representative said.

The WB hopes to persuade all major oil-producing countries and companies to join the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

So far, the initiative has been endorsed by Russia, Kazakhstan, Norway, Cameroon, Gabon, Uzbekistan, Congo, Angola and France, as well as nine oil companies namely Total, Statoil, Eni, SN–Cameroon, Petroamazonas EP, Shell, SNPC, Kuwait Oil Company and BG Group.

Six development institutions, namely the World Bank African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and United Nations Sustainable Energy for All, have also joined the initiative.

The endorsers collectively account for more than 40% of all global gas flaring.

By endorsing the initiative, governments, oil companies and development institutions recognize that routine gas flaring is unsustainable from a resource management and environmental perspective, and agree to cooperate to eliminate ongoing routine flaring as soon as possible and no later than 2030.

"By joining the World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership, SOCAR has achieved a decrease in the ratio of flared gas to 1.7% in 2013 and 1.6% in 2014," SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev noted.

Every year, around 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas produced together with oil is wastefully burned or “flared” at thousands of oilfields around the world, according to the WB. This results in more than 300 million tons of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere—equivalent to emissions from approximately 77 million cars.

If this amount of associated gas were used for power generation, it could provide more electricity than the entire African continent consumes per day.