U.S. Drillers Have Cut Methane Emissions by More Than a Third Since 2015

The U.S. oil and gas industry has made significant progress in curbing emissions of methane, a potent heat-trapping gas that leaks from wells and pipelines.

Largely by plugging leaks in equipment, the industry managed to cut methane emissions by 37 percent between 2015 and 2022, according to a new report based on EPA data. The drop comes despite a 40 precent uptick in production.

The new figures come with a major caveat, however: Drillers only have to report emissions above a certain threshold, so many smaller sources of methane go unaccounted for.

Among drillers, there is also a large and widening gap on emissions. The dirtiest natural gas producers now unleash more than 30 times as much methane as the cleanest. Drilling firms clearly have the power to curb methane emissions, said Andrew Logan, senior director at Ceres, one of the groups behind the report. So for the worst offenders, he said, “high leak rates are a choice.”

New EPA rules aim to crack down on methane emissions from oil and gas drilling, with a potentially big payoff for the climate. Methane traps around 80 times as much heat as carbon dioxide, but it stays in the atmosphere for only a few years, as opposed to centuries. Experts say that cutting methane emissions can help keep warming in check over the short term.


Nations Are Undercounting Emissions, Putting UN Goals at Risk

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top