EPA proposing rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas producers

Methane-burn
Click to enlargeRichard Hamilton Smith

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose regulations aimed at cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by up to 45 percent over the next decade from 2012 levels…

The regulations on methane are one part of the Obama administration’s strategy to curb greenhouse gases and combat climate change and come just two weeks after the president unveiled a sweeping rule to slash carbon emissions from the country’s power plants.

The proposal that will be unveiled on Tuesday aims to reduce oil and gas industry methane emissions by up to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025, a goal it first announced in January, one source said.

The rules are intended to put the United States on course to meet its pledge to the United Nations climate change talks to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025…

The U.S. boom in natural gas and oil production has raised concerns about leaks and venting of methane throughout the production process – from wells to transmission. So far, programs aimed at preventing those leaks have been voluntary.

Methane is the main component of natural gas, but when it is released into the atmosphere, it becomes a potent greenhouse gas…

Industry groups have said blah, blah, blah and requiring companies to buy that extra equipment is costly blah, blah, blah, blah

…Advocates for stricter methane rules have said capturing methane is mutually beneficial for oil and gas companies, and would save them money in the long run.

Detecting those leaks and capturing the methane with technology that is currently on the market can save companies money and help them produce oil and gas more efficiently, they say.

Honestly, the oil and gas industry is so accustomed to passing along the slightest cost to consumers you’d think they wouldn’t utter a peep over a regulation like this. Especially, since they’d be recapturing product they can sell along.

Expenses really aren’t anything special to this crew. I always recall taking a phone call from a driller in the Persian Gulf, BITD. He needed a couple hundred dollars worth of repair parts for a pile driver. Now.

He’d already ordered the parts over the phone from the warehouse of the firm I worked for and just wanted me to handle our portion of expedited delivery. I personally walked to the warehouse – put the two boxes of parts on a hand truck and wheeled them back to the front door of our office where a taxi was waiting.

I rode with them to the New Orleans International Airport where a chartered jet freighter was waiting with the door open. I set the two boxes of parts inside. The jet took off for DuBai.

Nothing else on board but those two boxes of parts.

One thought on “EPA proposing rules to curb methane emissions from oil and gas producers

  1. Blooey says:

    “A new study published today reveals that facilities that collect and gather natural gas from well sites across the United States emit about one hundred billion cubic feet of natural gas a year, roughly eight times the previous estimates by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the segment. The wasted gas identified in the study is worth about $300 million, and packs the same 20-year climate impact as 37 coal-fired power plants.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-brownstein/study-reveals-vast-unreco_b_8003416.html “Until now, emissions from thousands of gathering facilities – which consolidate gas from multiple wells in an area and feed it into processing plants or pipelines – have been largely uncounted in federal statistics, yet they may be the largest methane source in the oil and gas supply chain. Indeed, the newly identified emissions from gathering facilities would increase total emissions from the natural gas supply chain in EPA’s current Greenhouse Gas Inventory by approximately 25 percent if added to the tally. The study was conducted by scientists at Colorado State University and published today in Environmental Science & Technology.”

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