Saudi Aramco said on Wednesday it was joining the World Bank’s initiative to reduce gas flaring to zero by 2030, and said its flaring was already less than 1% of its total raw gas production in the first half of 2019, Reuters reports.
The announcement comes as the company began this week the process of floating shares on the Saudi stock exchange, the Tadawul, in what could be the world’s biggest listing.
During oil production, associated gas is produced from the reservoir together with the oil. Much of this gas is utilized or conserved because governments and oil companies have made substantial investments to capture it; nevertheless, some of it is flared because of technical, regulatory, or economic constraints, the World Bank says. As a result, thousands of gas flares at oil production sites around the globe burn approximately 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, causing more than 300 million tons of CO2 to be emitted to the atmosphere.
Flaring of gas contributes to climate change and impacts the environment through emission of CO2, black carbon and other pollutants. It also wastes a valuable energy resource that could be used to advance the sustainable development of producing countries.
“We are also investing in advanced technologies to enable greater efficiency and lower emissions in transport, carbon-free hydrogen fuels, and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS),” Ahmad al-Saadi, Aramco’s senior vice president for technical services, said in the statement. “This is all part of our broader effort to enable the circular carbon economy and deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to the world while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.