Home News News around Africa World Bank Includes Nigeria, Algeria among 7 Countries that Flared the most Gas in 2020
News around Africa - May 12, 2021

World Bank Includes Nigeria, Algeria among 7 Countries that Flared the most Gas in 2020

The World Bank recently released its global gas flaring tracker for 2020 which listed Nigeria, Algeria, Russia, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela and the United States of America among the countries that flared the most natural gas in 2020. Together, they were responsible for 65% of the global gas flares last year.

Note that these seven countries have consecutively made The World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Tracker over the past nine years. Incidentally, they are also the world’s biggest energy producers, accounting for about 40% of the global oil production per annum.

“Seven countries continue to light up the global map, year after year: Russia, Iraq, Iran, the United States, Algeria, Venezuela and Nigeria have been the largest flaring countries for nine years running, since the first satellite was launched in 2012. While these seven countries have together produced some 40 percent of the world’s oil each year, they have also accounted for roughly two-thirds (65 percent) of global gas flaring. This trend is indicative of ongoing, though differing, challenges facing these countries. For example, the United States has thousands of individual flare sites, difficult to connect to a market, while a few high flaring oil fields in East Siberia in the Russian Federation are extremely remote, lacking the infrastructure to capture and transport the associated gas,” said part of the report which was obtained by Business Elites Africa.

The report further explained that there was a 5% decline in the global gas flaring indicator, due to an 8% drop in oil production last year. But this not withstanding, oil producers around the world still managed to flare enough gas capable of powering the entire Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

Largest Gas Flaring Countries in the world
Largest Gas Flaring Countries in the world

Why this is an Issue

Simply defined, gas flaring is the reckless wastage of natural gas which occurs during crude oil extraction processes. It entails the burning of natural gas, often due to economic reasons and lack of regulations against the act. Unfortunately, not only does gas flaring constitute waste, it also harms the environment as it exacerbates the global warming crisis. People living within areas that gas flaring occurs have been known to suffer health issues caused by the constant pollution, as it is the case in Port Harcourt and other parts of the Niger Delta region in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, efforts have been made in the past to monetise the flared gas by converting them to electricity. In 2018, global energy producer Vitol announced that it was in talks with the Nigerian Government in this regard. Unfortunately, the negotiations eventually fell apart, even as the flaring continues.


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