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Conoco-Phillips Named Top Methane Polluter By The Center For American Progress

Natural Gas

A report released on Monday by the group Center for American Progress has named the companies responsible for the greatest amount of methane leaks from their operations.

The report uses data compiled from 2014, measuring the amount of methane released by 200 oil and gas companies. Conoco-Phillips is listed as the number one methane polluter. According to the report, Conoco-Philips released 4,653,752 tons of methane in 2014, which the Center says is the equivalent of burning 24,783 railcars of coal.

The Center names Exxon as the number two offender, with 3,491,197 tons in methane emissions for the year. Chesapeake, EOG Resources, and BP America round out the top five.

According to the report, in 2014, the onshore oil and gas industry in the United States reported 103 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The report states that onshore production is the biggest contributor to “the total greenhouse gas emissions footprint of the petroleum and natural gas systems sector, which also includes natural gas transmission, processing, underground storage, and other sources.”

The report also notes that methane emissions accounted for almost 50 percent of the total 2014 greenhouse gas emissions from onshore oil and gas production.

While the Center for American Progress does name Conoco-Phillips as the number one methane producer, it also notes that the company’s 2014 numbers show that it reduced its methane emissions from onshore operations by 40 percent from the previous year. The company achieved this by “installing more efficient pneumatic devices to operate valves, control flow pressure, flow, and other parameters—and improved its liquids unloading process, which is used to optimize conditions for gas production but can result in significant methane leaks” the report states.

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The report notes that the company has shown that methane pollution can be reduced, but adds that voluntary efforts on the part of companies such as Conoco-Phillips will not do enough to address the problem. According to the report, agencies such as the EPA and BL will require those same technologies in their rule-making processes regarding methane releases by the oil and gas industry.

By Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com

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