When there aren’t enough pipelines available, oil and gas companies will burn off the natural gas that comes as a byproduct of oil extraction. The practice is called “flaring,” and the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that it’s growing nationwide. But it’s happening the most in Texas.
Matt Smith is the director of commodity research for ClipperData. He says new data shows that oil and gas companies are burning off over 1% of everything they extract from underground, and releasing it into the atmosphere.
“A lot of this natural gas is … coming out of oil wells,” Smith says. “As oil production continues to rise, you’re continuing to get more natural gas, which just isn’t being captured.”
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– Whether flaring or so-called venting is worse for the environment
– Why flaring is so common in Texas
– What can be done to reduce flaring
Written by Libby Cohen.