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Flaring is the safety practice of burning off excess gases that might otherwise pose a hazard and that cannot be:
  • Recovered for export to consumers,
  • Used as fuel within the field, or
  • Cost-effectively re-injected into the producing formation.


Installing flaring equipment to burn the excess gas reduces the greenhouse gas impact to the environment by as much as 98%. We’ve adopted goals to address flaring and venting in our Climate Change Management Plans.

Across all types of wells and reservoirs in the U.S., less than 1% of natural gas is flared. However, newer unconventional shale plays like the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana have higher rates of flaring due to a lack of pipeline infrastructure.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council flaring task force has worked with the state to develop a plan to reduce flaring in the Bakken with the goal of capturing 85% of associated gas by 2016 and 91% by 2020. Over the last 10 years more than $11 billion has been spent building natural gas gathering and processing infrastructure in the state.