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Energy Tomorrow Blog

EDF Mapping Data is Preliminary, Comes With Caveats

emission reductions  methane  permian basin 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 8, 2020

Some thoughts on the preliminary data from the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) methane mapping project in the Permian Basin.

First, our industry welcomes new information that helps identify ways operators can further decrease methane emissions from production. The data must be verified (more on this below), and potentially could add to the knowledge base around the objective of reducing emissions.

Toward that objective, U.S. natural gas and oil companies launched The Environmental Partnership in  2017 with a focus on finding technologies, best practices and innovations that would capture as much methane as possible – since methane is the chief component in the natural gas our industry delivers to consumers. The Partnership, whose 75 members include 33 of the top 40 U.S. natural gas producers, is one of a number of industry-led initiatives that seek to further reduce methane emissions.


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Texas Flaring Coalition Enhances Industry’s Commitment to Reduce Emissions

methane emissions  natural gas production  the-environmental-partnership  texas 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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 and increasing public understanding of the safety and environmental reasons for flaring.

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Producing Energy, Reducing Emissions in New Mexico

new mexico  emission reductions  production  methane 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 8, 2019

Take a look at a recent interview with API President and CEO Mike Sommers conducted by Albuquerque TV station KOB-4 – a conversation about the dual challenge of providing the energy Americans need every day to work, grow and prosper, while protecting the environment and lowering emissions. There’s no better setting for this discussion than in energy-rich New Mexico.

Indeed, the prolific Permian Basin that covers New Mexico’s southeastern corner before spreading into neighboring Texas is a big reason why the United States continues to lead the world in natural gas and oil production.


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Capturing VOCs Emissions – and Methane

emission reductions  methane  epa  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 24, 2019

A key factor in EPA’s recent decision not to directly regulate methane is the simple fact that existing regulation of emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with natural gas and oil production also reduces methane as a co-benefit.

It might surprise some, but on this point current EPA officials are aligned with their agency predecessors under President Obama.


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Strengthening EPA Emissions Standards

emission reductions  epa  methane 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 29, 2019

With EPA’s reconsideration of its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with natural gas and oil production, some insist the changes will trash environmental protections.

This “rollback” narrative is false and largely designed to play to the extreme environmentalist crowd. Contrary to that view, modifying the NSPS could reduce duplication with state programs, provide greater clarity for industry in its regulatory compliance and, ultimately, further lower methane and other emissions and protect the environment by making it easier for operators to gain approvals for use of new, innovative technologies to detect fugitive emissions for repair. In fact, this procedural correction is best described as a realignment with the agency’s obligations under the Clean Air Act.

The well-worn “rollback” tale also dismisses the effective role of technology, innovation and industry initiative in reducing emissions – such as The Environmental Partnership. It discounts industry’s strong motivation to reduce emissions, which it has done in growing measure amid increased natural gas and oil production.

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Natural Gas, Lower Methane Emissions and Rising Opportunity

natural gas from shale  emission reductions  methane  the-environmental-partnership 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 19, 2019

Even with natural gas playing a leading role in reducing U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest levels in a generation and strong industry initiative to keep lowering production-related methane emissions, natural gas opponents remain on the attack, including a new study that's critical of natural gas from North American shale (see rebuttals, here and here).

More authoritative and trustworthy is the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which issued these methane-related conclusions in a study published earlier this year …

U.S. natural gas has proven environmental and climate benefits, and it’s critically important here at home and around the world, helping to reduce energy poverty and improve peoples’ lives.


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Flaring, Infrastructure and Embracing the Dual Challenge

natural gas  methane emissions  emission reductions  climate  safe operations 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 8, 2019

Our country needs abundant energy AND climate progress – both of them, continuing to advance together, as they have in the U.S. in recent years. Embracing the dual challenge of making energy abundant and accessible while reducing energy-related emissions is the realistic path to growth and opportunity that can broadly benefit the nation and the lives of individual Americans.

Certainly, our industry is focused on new innovations and technologies that continue to reduce emissions from natural gas and oil production and improve the environmental performance of our operations and facilities. …

The objective is continued progress. High-production areas, including the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico and the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana, need additional pipeline infrastructure to take away natural gas when it accompanies oil production. More infrastructure could reduce the amount of flaring – regulated, limited burning of methane – that takes place.

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Environmental Partnership: Paving the Way for Continuous Progress

the-environmental-partnership  emission reductions  methane  climate 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted July 30, 2019

We’re proud of the work of The Environmental Partnership – an industry-led initiative launched in 2017 that is leading the way to further reduce methane emissions from energy operations.

With 65 members to date, The Partnership serves as a model for industry leadership on shared environmental goals and creating pathways for new technologies and techniques – like optical gas imaging cameras, drones and other devices – to drive down emissions, while providing the energy vital to every American family and business.

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U.S. LNG and Cleaner, Healthier Lives Across the Globe

natural gas benefits  emission reductions  carbon dioxide  methane  climate 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 2, 2019

There’s very little that satisfies climate extremists – including practical solutions right at hand.

We live in a world where a huge chunk of the globe’s energy is supplied by burning coal, biofuels and waste. U.S. natural gas – exported as liquefied natural gas (LNG) – is an integral part of the world’s emissions solution, not the enemy some of these folks portray it to be. ...

We can do better than the dark future advocated by opponents of natural gas and oil. And exporting some of America’s abundance is opportunity for others to live better, healthier lives. 

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NOAA Study Increases Understanding of Methane Emissions

methane  emission reductions  natural gas 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 24, 2019

There’s lots to know and understand from a new NOAA study on U.S. methane emissions from 2006-2015, starting with the study finding that there has been “major overestimation” of industry’s methane emissions trends in some previous studies.

While U.S. natural gas production has increased 46 percent since 2006, scientists found “no significant increase” in total U.S. methane emissions. During this same period, the NOAA study found only a “modest” increase in emissions from natural gas and oil activity. (In the context of surging natural gas production – emissions intensity, or emissions per unit production – industry emissions are even smaller.)


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