Flaring

We are working to minimize flaring in our operations

Flaring is the controlled burning of natural gas found in oil and gas reservoirs, or the controlled burning of waste gas in production, refining and manufacturing operations. It is necessary in the initial commissioning of a well, during the start-up of operations, as a safety release or during maintenance.

BP is a founding member of the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership, a public-private partnership that supports the development of infrastructure and regulatory mechanisms to help use gas that would otherwise be vented or flared during oil and gas operations. 

In 2015 BP joined the World Bank Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative, which seeks to eliminate routine flaring from oil assets by the year 2030. We are evaluating our existing operations to identify possible reduction opportunities. Our major new projects include design requirements that already meet the initiative objectives.

Our approach

Our operations seek to minimize flaring, wherever practical. Some of our sites, for example in Alaska, re-inject gas into the reservoir to enhance production.

Working with regional partners in Azerbaijan, we made improvements to our offshore infrastructure to reduce flaring by either re-injecting associated gas back into the reservoir, or collecting and selling it. As a result of our efforts, the volume of gas flared since 2010 has halved, and 265 thousand tonnes (kte) of CO₂ equivalent is avoided annually.

In Indonesia we have been working on a long-term flaring reduction programme. Since 2010 our Tangguh operations have reduced flaring by 87%, by recycling gas for use as a fuel and continuous improvement in controlling sources.

Our performance

We have seen a 15% decrease in flaring in our upstream operations since 2014, primarily due to improvements made to the gas injection capacity of wells in our Angola operations, as well as a move from start-up activity to normal operations in several sites in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, and the North Sea.

Flaring in our upstream operations (thousand tonnes (kte) of hydrocarbons)

ᵃ The reported 2014 figure of 2,167kte has been amended to 2,188kte

Attestation

The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young as part of BP's 2015 sustainability reporting. View the full assurance statement.

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