BP, Shell Urge Texas Regulator To End Routine Gas Flaring

Credit: Bronte Wittpenn/Bloomberg.
Gas flares at a natural gas field in Texas.

Two of Europe’s biggest oil companies urged Texas regulators to end the routine flaring of natural gas, joining with large investors who want greater oversight of the harmful environmental practice.

BP and Royal Dutch Shell are calling for tougher rules than those proposed by the Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates oil and gas in the state. The commission is considering requiring operators to disclose more data when they apply for flaring permits and issuing them for shorter periods.

“We believe there is a real opportunity for the state to set the bar for others to follow,” BP and Shell said in a joint letter to the regulator dated 4 September. “We encourage the Railroad Commission of Texas to support an ambition of zero routine flaring in Texas.”

Investors managing more than $2 trillion recently asked the commission to end routine gas flaring by 2025. AllianceBernstein, California State Teachers’ Retirement System, and Legal and General Investment Management said the actions of leading operators “demonstrate the financial and technical viability” of their proposal.

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