WA flaring regulations set for introduction

THE Western Australian state government is gearing up to introduce legislation that will tighten wellhead flaring regulations with a view to ending the process by 2030.
WA flaring regulations set for introduction WA flaring regulations set for introduction WA flaring regulations set for introduction WA flaring regulations set for introduction WA flaring regulations set for introduction

Flare at Carnarvon's Roc field

 
When introduced later this year, the regulations will require operators to drastically cut the amount, if not all, of gas flared during wellhead production operations in an effort to reduce greenhouse emissions.  
 
The regulatory changes come as the Labor state government joins the World Bank's ‘Zero Routine Flaring by 2030' initiative, which the government said will require oil and gas producers throughout the state to "more efficiently manage natural gas resources." 
 
The new restrictions will not impact exploration testing, emergency situations or refineries. 
 
"Capturing the gas that would normally be flared reduces greenhouse gas emissions and makes better use of our energy resources," WA environment minister Stephen Dawson said. 
 
"Signing up to this initiative further demonstrates this government's commitment to addressing climate change, and will contribute to the state's new climate policy which is currently being developed." 
 
After joining the initiative, the state government will be required to publicly report flaring data and the state's progress towards cutting routine flaring 100% on an annual basis. 
 
WA mines and petroleum minister Bill Johnston said the decision to cut flaring came about after the most recent scientific inquiry into fraccing. 
 
"At the heart of all the research and consultation that led to this recommendation is a simple premise: if you've got gas, either sell it or inject it back into the ground, but don't burn it," Johnston said. 
 
Worldwide, flaring annually burns about 140 billion cubic metres of natural gas and emits more than 300 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere according to the World Bank.
 
Energy News reached out to both the environment minister and mines and petroleum minister for comment however did not receive a response at the time of publishing.