Historically, it has been assumed that all flares irrespective of design, operation or age perform at the same level of efficiency – with flares in production environments thought to by 98% efficient. That means that 2% of methane being sent to flare would be lost to the atmosphere.
There are now a range of technologies becoming available that allow this assumption to be improved upon by conducting measurements specific to the flare.
Where flaring is thought to be a major contributor to methane emissions, moving away from a generic emission factor to actual measurements can make a substantive difference to reported methane.
Identifying a flare that has lower efficiency than expected allows the operator to explore technical options to improve it.