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Photo courtesy of Andy Scholz

Methane emissions decrease in O&G fields

According to a new report by the industry-funded Energy in Depth website, methane emissions fell over a two-year period between 2011 and 2013 at leading oil and gas fields across the U.S.

Jennifer Hiller of the San Antonio Express-News reported “The report looked at EPA data on methane, a potent greenhouse gas that can leak from equipment into the atmosphere, and showed that even as oil and gas production rose between 2011 and 2013, methane emissions fell.”

According to Energy in Depth, the Gulf Coast region, which includes Eagle Ford Shale, the Rio Grande Valley and the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, there was a 17.6 percent decrease in methane emissions, equivalent to 5.1 million metric tons to 4.2 million metric tons.

Methane emissions decreased by 8.7 percent in the Permian Basin, equivalent to 4.6 million metric tons to 4.2 million metric tons.

Barnett Shale in North Texas and Haynesville located in East Texas and Louisiana were not included in the report.  Energy in Depth mentioned that Haynesville was not included in the report due to the decline in activity in the area.  Data for the Barnett Shale included a vast number of EPA regions, making it difficult to deduce data over such a large area.

Energy in Depth’s report stated in the Granite Wash field, which is included in the Anadarko Basin, methane emissions fell from 9.1 million metric tons in 2011 to 6 million metric tons in 2013.

The report also indicates that the industry does not need additional regulations on methane emissions.  However, beginning in January, the EPA is requiring that all companies reduce volatile organic compounds and methane emissions during gas well operations.  This rule could be applied to oil wells as well.


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