FT publishes Capterio’s flaring letter

The FT published our letter outlining how we must not let the oil price crash drive up flaring worldwide. The industry must continue to invest in flare reduction to create value, reduce emissions and improve reputations. Here is the letter in full.

Letter: Flare capture projects will help lower emissions

It is positive news for the environment that flaring in the Permian is down (Report, May 31). We should, however, recognise that this reduction is only due to the shut-in production resulting from lower oil prices. Most flaring is outside the US, in countries with economies dependent on oil revenues. Despite Opec cuts, these countries will continue to produce, even at low oil prices, and continue to flare.

At low prices, the constraints on investment in the oil and gas sector will become even more significant. Fewer companies will invest in flare reduction. Instead, they will prioritise production, and national oil companies will focus on supporting government budgets. There is a real risk not only that critical maintenance will be deferred (eg leading to increased flaring from failing equipment), but also that investments in pipeline or power generation capacity to utilise associated gas will stall. It is also quite possible that companies may shift from flaring to venting natural gas, with much more damaging climate impact.

Most flaring is not visible from the roads of Texas. Much of it is out of sight — in remote deserts, Arctic tundras or offshore — and does not receive attention.

Flare capture projects are some of the most financially attractive emissions reduction levers that oil and gas companies have. We must not let the oil price crash drive up flaring and must avoid the long-term environmental consequences.

Mark Davis, Chief Executive
John-Henry Charles, Commercial Analyst
Capterio London EC4, UK