Definition - What does Flaring mean?

Flaring is the controlled burning natural gas during oil and gas exploration and production activities. Flaring can be conducted due to various reasons, e.g., due to safety reasons, reservoir management reasons, mechanical, instrument and valve failures, and if gas utilization is infeasible. Flaring also includes burning unwanted gas that gets produced from an oil or gas well which is of no use to the operator.

Petropedia explains Flaring

During routine oil and gas drilling and production operations, natural gas in an oil well is usually flared if it is uneconomical to recover the gas. Associated gas is also flared in the initial start-up due to reservoir management reasons. Natural gas which cannot be transported to the market for sale/ use and needs to be disposed of to release the pressure in the oil well is also flared. This gas is released to the atmosphere in a controlled manner at a height through a pipe (also called a flare) and burned. These gases might be natural gas or other hydrocarbon vapors, water vapors, and other gases such as carbon dioxide separated in the process of production of oil and/ or natural gas.

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