Gas flaring in the Permian Basin reached an all-time high in the third quarter of 2018, as the persistent rise in production collided with severe takeaway capacity challenges in the world’s most prolific shale play.
Independent energy research and business intelligence company Rystad Energy estimates that gas flaring in the Permian averaged 407 million cubic feet per day in 3Q 2018. This number is likely to climb even higher once final disposition figures are registered, given the significant level of under-reporting that still exists for September.
Rystad Energy expects flaring to grow well into 2019, reaching a level of at least 600 MMcfd by mid-2019 assuming WTI Nymex oil prices recover to $60 per barrel to support existing activity levels.
Rystad said that in Texas, it observes an increased tendency whereby gas is flared on new wells for extended periods—often between four and six months—far beyond the 45-day period covered by the initial flaring permit.