By William Helms
One of the potentially impactful abilities of VIIRS NightFire (VNF) is its capability to help estimate the amount of gas burned by routine flaring at oil fields. The constant burning of gas contributes to global warming by producing carbon dioxide. In an effort to stem these effects, the World Bank and United Nations started a Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 Initiative in 2015. To aid in this initiative, the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR) was established and is utilizing VNF data for gas flaring volume estimations. This will help detect the best places for reduction and elimination of gas flares – optimally through capturing and reusing the primary biproduct methane. Below is a link for Gas Flaring Data created with help from VNF.
The above image shows the two largest gas flaring states in the US: Texas and North Dakota. The yellow and red dots represent flames that are the expected temperatures for gas flaring (1500K+). According to a segment of the Texas Standard by Alexandra Hart, gas companies are flaring over 1% of what they are extracting in the United States. These are the types of flares that will need to recapture their methane instead of burning it in order to meet the Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 goal.