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Cool Yogi asked in Environment · 1 decade ago

Why do oil rigs always seem to have a burning flame at the top of 1 of their pipes? Isn't this a giant waste?

I mean, that gas that they burn off could bring them more revenues, and also help alleviate the shortage of fossil fuels? Or is it done to keep the supply from going up and prices from going down as a result?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    That is methane that they are burning off. Pockets of methane (natural gas) tend to sit atop underground oil fields. There has been a greater attempt lately to harvest this rather than burn it off. Natural gas mining requires different techical aspects, and retooling for mathane collection is expensive up front. Historically it has been cheaper to burn it off than to collect it, when petroleum crude oil was the goal.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Ok first of all it isnt a rig that has the burning flare stack it is a production facility. The burning gas is normally because they are producing oil at that facility and cant take any gas. The only thing they can do with it is burn it. Most facilities only take one or the other because like in Angola there is hardly any gas and loads of oil so they keep the oil and burn the gas because it was cost them money to keep it, there just isnt enough of it to make a profit.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Do we really do things smart at first,its usually change through making mistakes.

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