USA - Climate - Flaring
Flames from a flaring pit near a well in the Bakken Oil Field. The primary component of natural gas is methane, which is odorless when it comes directly out of the gas well. In addition to methane, natural gas typically contains other hydrocarbons such as ethane, propane, butane, and pentanes. Raw natural gas may also contain water vapor, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon dioxide, helium, nitrogen, and other compounds. (Source: www.earthworksaction.org).
As of July 2014, roughly 30 percent of the one billion cubic feet per day of natural gas produced in North Dakota was being wasted in flares like this, according to the news site Breaking Energy. The reasons are low price on LNG (liquefied natural gas) , lax regulations and lack of infrastructure. In order to put an end to the flaring, North Dakota have adopted new regulations, and the goal is to capture 95 percent of the gas by 2020.
On August 18th 2015, EPA announced that the oil and gas sector will have to cut their methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent within the next decade. Methane is a shortlived greenhouse gas compared to CO2, but is 72 times more damaging. That