The energy security case for tackling gas flaring and methane leaks

Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has had a dramatic impact on the global energy system. Russia was the world’s largest oil and natural gas exporter in 2021, and energy markets have been thrown into turmoil, with major energy security and supply risks worldwide. Substantial gas resources currently are being produced that do not make it to market because they are lost to flaring and leaks across the oil and gas supply chain. This report estimates that nearly 210 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas could be made available to gas markets by a global effort to eliminate non-emergency flaring and reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations. If countries that currently export natural gas to the European Union were to implement these two measures, they could increase gas exports by more than 45 bcm using existing infrastructure, equivalent to almost one third of Russian gas exports to the EU in 2021.