U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Flare: A tall stack equipped with burners used as a safety device at wellheads, refining facilities, gas processing plants, and chemical plants. Flares are used for the combustion and disposal of combustible gases. The gases are piped to a remote, usually elevated, location and burned in an open flame in the open air using a specially designed burner tip, auxiliary fuel, and steam or air. Combustible gases are flared most often due to emergency relief, overpressure, process upsets, startups, shutdowns, and other operational safety reasons. Natural gas that is uneconomical for sale is also flared. Often natural gas is flared as a result of the unavailability of a method for transporting such gas to markets.
Flared natural gas: See flare.