Publication: Financing Solutions to Reduce Natural Gas Flaring and Methane Emissions

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Lorenzato, Gianni
van den Berg, Berend
Howells, Huw Martyn
Sarmiento-Saher, Sebastian
Global oil and gas emissions fell to historic lows in 2020 as a result of the decline in global demand associated with the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Data released by the International Energy Agency suggest that CO2 emissions are on the rise as energy demands increase after the pandemic. Whether emissions will rebound to precrisis levels largely depends on governments’ emphasis on clean energy transition in their efforts to reboot economic growth. In 2019, direct and indirect emissions from the oil and gas sector represented about 15 percent of the global energy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. More than half of these emissions came from flaring and methane released during oil and gas operations. This book aims to create awareness of the business case for reducing gas flaring and methane emissions. It provides a framework for policy makers to evaluate the feasibility and financial attractiveness of flaring and methane reduction (FMR) projects, analyzes investment barriers, and identifies key variables and success factors, backed by lessons learned from case studies. Simplified financial modeling templates are suggested to help policy makers to assess FMR options. The book focuses on midsized flares that collectively represent 58 percent of the global flare volumes. These flares are typically too small to be prioritized by oil companies but still allow for profitable monetization. Smaller FMR projects are unlikely to be economically viable, unless clustered in larger projects or propelled by an enabling and compulsory regulatory framework. Large-scale capture projects require tailored projects, large ancillary infrastructure, government planning, and capital injections costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Although potentially attractive in terms of equity returns to developers, midsized flares face various barriers to the financing and execution of FMR solutions. Navigating these barriers requires project developers with specific FMR expertise, as highlighted through six detailed case studies discussed in this book.
Lorenzato, Gianni; Tordo, Silvana; van den Berg, Berend; Howells, Huw Martyn; Sarmiento-Saher, Sebastian. 2022. Financing Solutions to Reduce Natural Gas Flaring and Methane Emissions. International Development in Focus;. © Washington, DC: World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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