Texas Flaring Coalition Enhances Industry’s Commitment to Reduce Emissions
Posted April 3, 2020
The natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to accelerate the reduction of methane emissions is being advanced on a number of fronts. The Environmental Partnership, whose 75 members include 33 of the top 40 U.S. producers of natural gas, is in its third year of sharing of knowledge and technologies to further reduce emissions. This week, the Texas Methane & Flaring Coalition, whose members represent nearly 80% of oil production in the state, was launched to work on flaring. The coalition’s key initiatives include:
- Developing best practices and opportunities to minimize methane emissions and flaring
- Improving accuracy and consistency in the reporting of vented and flared volumes
- Increasing public understanding of the safety and environmental reasons for flaring
From the coalition’s website:
Flaring is a temporary and, at times, necessary practice in the production of oil and natural gas. Most commonly used to ensure safety, flaring is the preferred alternative to venting excess gases – typically methane – that cannot be recovered during production, usually due to lack of existing infrastructure. Methane is the primary component of natural gas, so minimizing methane emissions means energy companies can safely, reliably and responsibly provide more energy to power Texans’ lives.
The vast majority of the Texas coalition’s members also are members of other industry emissions-reduction initiatives, including The Environmental Partnership, the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership and others. Matthew Todd, director of The Environmental Partnership, praised the Texas group’s formation and its joining industry’s broader effort to reduce emissions:
“Initiatives like the Texas Methane and Flaring Coalition further demonstrate the commitment of the U.S. natural gas and oil industry to reduce emissions while meeting society's energy needs. Collaborative efforts to advance the industry’s collective knowledge of technology initiatives and research is essential to delivering emissions reductions and environmental progress.”
We’ve previously discussed flaring before (here), with the significant point that in Texas flaring is regulated and limited. The broader point is that the coalition further illustrates how industry is leading the way to keep bringing down emissions – while also supplying the energy that runs the economy.
Indeed, these recent industry efforts are occurring in the context of important progress. Methane emission rates from some of the largest producing regions across the U.S. were down nearly 70% (data here and here) from 2011-2018, even as production in those regions was up 234%.
Industry’s commitment for more progress is evident – developing the technologies, best practices, monitoring and reporting procedures to capture increasing volumes of methane during production. It’s a top-priority mission for our industry because it’s environmentally responsible and because methane is the chief component of natural gas, which our companies are working to bring to market.
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and six grandchildren.
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