These photos were sent in by a reader.
Two hours ago I was visiting XXX. While inside their home, we heard a loud noise. I could feel some vibration from the floor of their home. It sounded sort of like a train was going nearby. I didn’t know what it was until they had me look out their front door. There was a HUGE flame. It was from a compressor station which is approx. 3/4 mile away.
I left their house & drove down past the compressor station, but it was too hot to sit by it (in my car), not to mention the noise. I shot a few pics. & did a little video and got out of there! I don’t get frightened very easily but it scared me. If that monster ever blew up, it would take half that country side with it. It is a troubling thought.
Flaring is the practice of burning gas that is deemed uneconomical to collect and sell. Flaring is also used to burn gases that would otherwise present a safety problem. It is common to flare natural gas that contains hydrogen sulfide (i.e., sour gas), in order to convert the highly toxic hydrogen sulfide gas into less toxic compounds.
Flares emit a host of air pollutants, depending on the chemical composition of the gas being burned and the efficiency and temperature of the flare. Flaring results in hydrogen sulfide emissions if hydrogen sulfide is present in large enough amounts in the natural gas. There may also be additional by-products formed if some of the chemicals used during the drilling or hydraulic fracturing process are converted to a gaseous form and are burned along with the natural gas.
The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, in California has estimated that the following air pollutants may be released from natural gas flares: benzene, formaldehyde, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, including naphthalene), acetaldehyde, acrolein, propylene, toluene, xylenes, ethyl benzene and hexane. Researchers in Canada have measured more than 60 air pollutants downwind of natural gas flares.
Shell flares gas near Warri, in the Niger delta. Shell’s gas flaring in the country is regarded as the biggest source of carbon emissions in sub-Saharan Africa. Photograph: George Osodi/AP
Tullow Oil, the London-based oil operator, has signed contracts with the Ugandan government allowing it to flare gas with the potential to release huge volumes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, according to a report by non-governmental organizations.
The flaring of gas in Nigeria is regarded as the biggest source of CO2 emissions in sub-Saharan Africa. Shell has repeatedly failed to follow through on promises to put an end to flaring, despite court orders demanding it stop.