Read time: 6 mins
If you’ve driven through an area where companies extract oil and gas from shale formations, you’ve probably seen flames dancing at the tops of vertical pipes. That’s flaring — the mostly uncontrolled practice of burning off a byproduct of oil and gas production. Over the past 10 years, the U.S. shale oil and gas boom has made this country one of the world’s top five flaring nations, just behind Russia, Iran and Iraq.
It’s a dubious distinction. Routine flaring gives the industry a black eye.