• 4 hours British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 8 hours Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 10 hours Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 11 hours Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 12 hours OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 13 hours London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 14 hours Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 17 hours Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 23 hours India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 1 day Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 1 day Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 2 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 2 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 2 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 2 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 2 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 2 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 3 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 3 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 3 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 3 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 3 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 3 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 3 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 3 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 4 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 4 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 4 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 4 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 6 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 6 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 7 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 7 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 7 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 7 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 7 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 7 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 7 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 7 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 8 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
Alt Text

Are Combustion Engines Reaching Peak Demand?

As countries announce plans to…

Alt Text

The Energy War That Erdogan Is Winning

The Turkish Republic of Northern…

Alt Text

The U.S. Shale Play To Watch In 2018

The original U.S. shale gas…

Methane Emissions From Oil And Gas Could Be Higher Than EPA Says

Methane Emissions From Oil And Gas Could Be Higher Than EPA Says

A series of new studies find that methane emissions from oil and gas operations in the Barnett Shale are actually 50 percent higher than what the EPA has estimated.

The studies, published in Environmental Science & Technology, paint a varied picture, however. The source of methane emissions come from an array of sites, and could be a larger problem than many thought. However, plugging the leaks is largely possible with available technology and monitoring.

Oil and gas drilling have come under increased scrutiny for their “fugitive methane” emissions in recent years – essentially natural gas that has escaped into the atmosphere either during the drilling process or along the supply chain. The problem with methane is that it is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, and is somewhere on the order of 25 times as potent in terms of its warming potential when compared to carbon dioxide. That has the federal government looking to tighten the regulatory screws on leaking methane.

But finding and assessing the rate at which methane is escaping into the atmosphere is difficult, and studies measuring the true extent of the leakage rate run the gamut. Related: EIA Data Still Diverging From Reality

The 11 studies just published find that methane emissions could be 50 percent higher than what the EPA has found. The studies were coordinated by the Environmental Defense Fund, an environmental group that seeks to reduce fugitive methane emissions. Steven Hamburg, chief scientist with EDF, wrote on July 7 that the studies prove that the “industry has a significant methane pollution problem driven by widespread, often unpredictable emission sources.”

At the same time, Hamburg says that getting a handle on the emissions is entirely feasible. A 2014 study from ICF finds that the industry could slash methane emissions by 40 percent over five years by using technology that is already available. Better yet, it would only cost one cent per thousand cubic feet of natural gas. Related: Is Russia Ready To Make A Comeback?

However, the latest studies, which focused on the Barnett Shale, show that companies are choosing not to plug their leaks since they are not required to. But that could change. The federal government released a proposal earlier this year that calls for a 40 to 45 percent reduction in methane emissions between 2012 and 2025. The particulars have not yet been finalized, but the EPA and the Bureau of Land Management will soon release proposed regulations.

By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News