Forty-five governments and producers, including BP plc and the State of California, plan to end routine natural gas flaring at oil production sites by 2030, the World Bank said Monday.

The Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative, launched in April, encourages oil and gas producers to seek economically viable solutions to eliminate ongoing “legacy” flaring no later than 2030 (see Shale Daily, April 20). When oilfields are developed, the initiative encourages gas utilization solutions that do not involve routine flaring or venting.

“The oil and gas industry has a responsibility to cut routine gas flaring to zero,” said World Bank’s Anita Marangoly George, senior director for Energy and Extractive Industries. “Ending routine gas flaring not only stops millions of tons of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere every year, it can contribute to improving the life of the people who live around gas flare sites. If converted to power, the flared gas can produce electricity to light up the African continent. So what are we waiting for?”

In April, Royal Dutch Shell plc, France’s Total SA, Norway’s Statoil ASA, Italy’s Eni SpA, and BG Group plc were part of the initial World Bank initiative launch. Nine oil-producing nations also joined. Since April, 25 producers, governments and institutions have signed on.

According to the World Bank, the latest to agree to the initiative as part of the United Nations climate talks underway in Paris were global producers BP, ETAP of Tunisia, Galp Energia of Portugal, KazMunayGaz of Kazakhstan, Nigeria’s Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd., Seven Energy of Nigeria, Sonangol of Angola and Wintershall of Germany. California and the governments of Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Peru and Turkmenistan also agreed to the initiative.

“As more and more companies join the Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative, this becomes a de facto global industry standard,” said World Bank’s Bjorn Hamso, program manager for the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership.