Shale gas : green groups condemn methane flaring plans for wells | Environment | The Guardian
The two companies exploring for shale gas in the UK have confirmed that they intend to flare methane gas from their wells in a move that has been condemned by environmentalists. It is likely to be the most visible sign of the fracking revolution that many in business and government would like to bring to the UK.
Flaring excess gas is widely regarded as environmentally damaging, as burning the methane results in greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. In the US, where fracking wells are now widespread, flaring is so prevalent that the light from the flames can be seen from space, rivalling street lamps from cities.
Fracking companies prefer burning methane, which leaks from gas and oil fracking sites, because during the exploration stage it is cheaper than capturing it and using it for fuel, and it is less dangerous than allowing it to leak freely.