In Texas, flaring natural gas is really stupid. It's not Siberia we live in. The Permian Basin is over 100 years old and there is oil and gas gathering infrastructure all over West Texas; that basin is only 500 miles from the largest refinery capacity in the entire world. Shale oil companies in Texas have been bragging about "drillable" locations in investor presentations for many years; flaring while "waiting" on gas hookup is lame. If there is too much associated gas to bother with selling it, who's fault is that? Seventy + % of Permian light tight oil production, extracted on credit, has to be exported to foreign countries as it is...why do we flare gas to do THAT?!! If an operator can't sell the associated gas from a horizontal well from the get-go, say within 90 days, don't drill the damn thing or get severed.
Conservation of Texas resources and the prevention of resource waste, physical and economic, is laid out in the Natural Resource Code (85.046) and part of our State's Constitution. No regulatory authority in Texas has the right to pick and choose between the importance of oil or natural gas and public and private companies will always, I repeat always, do what is their best interest, until forced to do otherwise.
The law is the law. Flaring needs to stop. Now! Our kids are going to need that gas someday.
Texas' top nose pickers. Click to enlarge, based on actual data filed with the Texas Railroad Commission; courtesy shaleprofile.com.