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N.D. flares push U.S. into global top 10 - World Bank

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  • Tim Jones
    If it s not madness it s just pure evil. N.D. flares push U.S. into global top 10 -- World Bank http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2012/05/04/5 Gayathri
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2012
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      If it's not madness it's just pure evil.

      N.D. flares push U.S. into global top 10 -- World Bank
      http://www.eenews.net/energywire/2012/05/04/5
      Gayathri Vaidyanathan, E&E reporter
      Published: Friday, May 4, 2012

      Enough natural gas was flared in North Dakota in 2011 to get the
      attention of satellites for the first time since the World Bank began
      measurements as part of a flaring reduction initiative.

      About 140 billion cubic meters of gas was flared globally in 2011, up
      from 138 bcm the previous year (the 2010 data was revised upward),
      according to a World Bank official. The increase coincided with the
      appearance of North Dakota in the satellite measurements, the
      official added. The news was first reported by Reuters.

      Reuters reported that the United States is now within the top 10 list
      of flaring nations, which includes Russia, Nigeria, Iran and other
      large oil-producing nations.

      Flaring matters because the practice releases significant amounts of
      carbon dioxide into the atmosphere while wasting a valuable fossil
      fuel. It also produces other pollutants, although there are few
      measurements on those pollutant loads.

      The World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership was
      created in 2002 to reduce flaring worldwide, and it keeps an eye out
      using nighttime satellites that calculate the volume of gas flared.
      It publishes a report yearly on the volumes of natural gas flared by
      the top 20 worst offenders, and before 2011, the United States fell
      between the top 10 and 20.

      North Dakota had not shown up on the GGFR's radar before last year
      because the satellites can only capture light above a certain
      threshold, the official said. That threshold appears to have been
      crossed.

      The state witnessed a rapid rise in the production of oil from the
      Bakken Shale in 2011. Production rose 40 percent from November 2010
      to November 2011, to 510,000 barrels per day. Meanwhile, operators
      flared off nearly 34 percent of the produced natural gas -- more than
      100 million cubic feet (2 million cubic meters) daily -- because
      there are not enough pipelines to carry all the produced gas to
      market.

      "They are in such a hurry to produce the oil that they don't wait for
      natural gas pipelines to come in," said David McCabe, an atmospheric
      scientist with the Clean Air Task Force. "So they produce the oil and
      flare off the gas."

      The North Dakota measurements have necessitated that the World Bank
      recalculate the volumes of gas flared by all nations, the official
      said. The final measurements will be released mid-May.

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