Sonatrach, in alignment with Algeria’s NDC, targets less than 1 percent of total associated gas to be flared by 2030. Law No. 19-13, 2019 , prohibits flaring and venting except under certain conditions but does not specify any targets or limits. Executive Decree 21-330, 2021, repeals Executive Decree 13-400, 2013, regarding conditions for allowed flaring. There are limits on the duration of flaring (see section 10 of this chapter). Article 9(d) limits flaring during production to 1 percent of total volumes produced but Article 9(e) allows, subject to regulatory approval, for 12 months of flaring in the case of infrastructure bottlenecks. Article 19 limits flaring during midstream activities to 1 percent of the hydrocarbons transported via pipelines or entering processing or refining facilities.

At the national level, besides the NDC, no specific targets or limits exist for flared or vented volumes or methane emissions. Meanwhile, the Safeguard Mechanism  does include GHG emissions restrictions. The Safeguard Mechanism is the government policy for reducing emissions from Australia’s industrial facilities (including oil and gas production), which release more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per year. All new facilities are given a legislated baseline for total emissions, but no baseline is set for individual activities such as flaring. Facilities must purchase carbon credits if the cap is exceeded. Reforms introduced in mid-2023 will require baselines for new facilities to be set following international best practices, targeting an initial decline rate of 4.9 percent per year until 2030. Post-2030, decline rates will be set in “predictable five-year blocks” to achieve Australia’s NDC goals and net-zero emissions by 2050. According to the Code of Practice: Onshore Petroleum Activities in the Northern Territory, 2019, “venting and flaring of natural gas should be eliminated or minimized where practicable.” In New South Wales, flares must be operated efficiently and fugitive emissions minimized as per the Protection of the Environment Operations (POEO) Act, 1997. In general, Australia’s regulatory approach targets environmental impacts and risks, including the reduction of GHG and other emissions to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) and acceptable. National or state regulators enforce compliance with requirements outlined in environment management, field development, or other plans for individual projects.

There are limits on the volume of gas that can be flared or vented by each concession area. According to Ordinance 123/2000 issued by the National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels (Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis [ANP]), the Annual Production Program (Programa Anual de Produção [PAP]) approved by the regulator should include a schedule with monthly estimates of flared or vented gas. Article 3 of Resolution 806/2020 sets the maximum allowable limit for the monthly volume of flaring or venting at a level that is 15 percent above the forecasted gas-to-oil ratio based on the most recent approved PAP.

Directive 060, 2020 , follows the CASA recommendations, and defines limits on the total annual volume of gas flared, incinerated, and vented at all upstream wells and facilities. If flaring and venting of solution gas exceed the limit in any year, the AER will impose reduction limits for individual operating sites based on analysis of the most recent annual data available. Section 2.1 of the directive sets an annual solution gas flaring limit of 670 million m³ (50 percent of the 1996 baseline) for the upstream oil and gas industry. As per Section 2.3, the combined flaring and venting volume is limited to no more than 900 m³ a day. Operators must follow the decision tree approach recommended by CASA and demonstrate the economics of conservation options (see sections 12 and 21 of this case study). According to Section 5.2, for gas plants processing 1 billion cubic meters (m³) of raw gas annually, flaring, incineration, and venting must not exceed 0.2 percent of raw gas receipts or 5 million m³ per year. Limits are slightly higher for smaller processing plants. Acid gas volumes from gas sweetening (which are typically continuously flared) are excluded. As per Section 5.3, gas plants must not conduct more than six major nonroutine flaring events in any consecutive (rolling) six-month period. The AER does not accept venting as an alternative to flaring or incineration, if gas volumes are sufficient to sustain stable combustion. When venting is the only feasible option, Section 8 of the directive sets an overall vented gas (routine and nonroutine) limit at a site of 15,000 m³ or 9,000 kilograms (kg) of methane a month. The limit on the volume of routinely vented gas at a site is 3,000 m³ or 1,800 kg of methane a month. Section 8.6 prescribes equipment-specific limits on venting. Facilities that emit more than 100,000 tonnes of GHG a year are required to reduce their emissions intensity by 12 percent under the Climate Change and Emissions Management Amendment Act, 2003.

The cumulative volume of flaring authorized for well workover or maintenance operations cannot exceed 50,000 cubic meters (m³) in a year. There are also various limits on flared volumes that trigger different reporting. British Columbia’s new methane regulations are designed to reduce methane emissions by 10.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) over a 10-year period starting in 2020.

The Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Methane and Certain Volatile Organic Compounds (Upstream Oil and Gas Sector) SOR/2018-66, last amended on January 1, 2023, contain standards for extraction, primary processing, long-distance transport, and storage. The regulations apply to facilities producing or receiving more than 60,000 m³ annually of hydrocarbon gas, which includes methane and certain volatile organic compounds. Upstream oil and gas facilities are required to take the following actions, among others: Limit vented volumes to 15,000 m³ a year. Implement leak detection and repair, starting in 2020. Regular inspections will be required three times a year, and detected leaks are to be repaired within 30 days unless the facility is required to be shut down, in which case an action plan must be prepared and implemented. Conserve or flare gas instead of venting, starting in 2020. In many instances, but especially in technical matters such as the measurement of gas volumes flared or vented, these federal regulations defer to provincial flaring and venting rules and emissions limits, which provincial regulators implement. Provincial emission limits must meet or exceed federal targets.

The O-2 Reg 7: Oil and Gas Emissions Management Regulations, 2019 , aim to reduce methane emissions in the province by 4.5 million tCO2e per year between 2020 and 2025. Table 2 in the Appendix to the regulations limits the methane emission intensity by production class and year, starting in 2020 and ending in 2030 (2025–30 limits are the same for all five production classes). An Emissions Reduction Plan is due if the combined potential annual emissions are higher than 50,000 tCO2e, calculated by Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Energy and Resources (MER) based on government data (Petrinex or Integrated Resource Information System [IRIS] reporting information).

No evidence regarding targets and limits could be found in the sources consulted.

The key target of the Global Methane Pledge is global, not national or regional, and aims for a 30 percent reduction of all human-made methane emissions by 2030 compared with 2020 levels. This has the potential to prevent global warming over 0.2°Celsius by 2050. In line with its Methane Strategy , the EC will also examine available options for eliminating routine venting and flaring in the energy sector, in an attempt to complement the 2030 objectives of the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative. Regulation (EU) 2021/1119  introduces a requirement to reach net-zero emissions across the EU by 2050 and defines an interim step for 2040 (see section 3 of this case study).

At the United Nations Climate Summit in Durban in December 2011, President Ali Bongo Ondimba announced the objective set for Gabon’s oil industry of reducing the volume of gas flared by 2015 by a minimum of 60 percent (compared with 2009 levels). This target was not captured in legislation, but a national gas flaring reduction plan was prepared. The plan required all oil companies operating in Gabon to submit individual plans detailing how they would reduce gas flaring at their facilities.