Gas flaring, the burning of natural gas associated with oil extraction, takes place due to a range of issues, from market and economic constraints, to a lack of appropriate regulation and political will. The practice results in a range of pollutants released into the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide, methane and black carbon (soot).
The Global Gas Flaring Tracker finds that oil production declined by 8% (from 82 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2019 to 76 million b/d in 2020), while global gas flaring reduced by 5% (from 150 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2019 to 142 bcm in 2020).
Russia, Iraq, Iran, the United States, Algeria, Venezuela and Nigeria remain the top seven gas flaring countries for nine years running. These seven countries produce 40% of the world’s oil each year, but account for roughly two-thirds (65%) of global gas flaring.