GE wants to end gas flaring

April 4, 2011 at 9:50 AM

NEW YORK, April 4 (UPI) -- The technology exists to stop natural gas flaring but the push to explore for oil in hard-to-reach places could complicate the efforts, General Electric said.

Gas present in oil deposits can be captured for energy production or sold to the market. Without the appropriate infrastructure, however, most of the associated natural gas is burned off during oil production.

Michael Farina, a program manager at GE Energy, said the technology exists to eliminate gas flaring within the next five years, the Financial Times reports.

GE said its plans to unveil a report that shows how governments could create a "carrot-and-stick" approach to persuade oil companies to eliminate the practice.

The Financial Times notes that if Russia captured half of the flared gas from its oil production, it could make around $2 billion per year given current market prices.

Farina warned that gas flaring is more difficult in extreme climates, however, creating challenges for energy companies looking to capture associated gas in hard-to-reach regions like the arctic and deep waters.

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