Full Title: Columbia Global Energy Dialogue: Natural Gas Flaring Workshop Summary
Author(s): Marianne Kah, Jonathan Elkind, Robert Kleinberg, and Varun Rai
Publisher(s): Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy
Publication Date: April 30, 2020
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The rapid expansion in tight oil production with its associated natural gas has made the United States the fourth largest source of flared gas in the world. The waste, emissions, and pollution caused by this flaring threatens not only the environment and human health but, ultimately, the license to operate for oil and natural gas companies. Responding effectively to the challenge of flaring requires technically and economically sound solutions that also enjoy political credibility and support. To be most credible, solutions for flaring need to be developed through open and transparent processes that provide for candid and constructive engagement by a diverse group of stakeholders.
In January 2020, Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and the Energy Institute of the University of Texas at Austin gathered senior executives from the US oil and natural gas industry; current and former state government regulators; technical, market, and academic experts; and non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives with expertise in this topic for a workshop under the Chatham House Rule to discuss challenges and potential solutions to gas flaring, primarily in the Permian Basin. The gas flaring workshop focused on trends in gas flaring and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, flaring and public policy, the disconnect between production growth and midstream infrastructure capacity, best practices and technological solutions for minimizing flaring, and regulatory and other solutions.