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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Cont’d: The Falling Methane Emissions Story

natural gas development  methane  emission reductions  epa  greenhouse gas emissions  hydraulic fracturing  fracking  production  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 16, 2015

For months we’ve argued that new federal regulation targeting methane emissions from energy development is unnecessary and could undermine the success industry initiatives already are achieving. Howard Feldman, API’s senior director of regulatory and scientific affairs, from earlier this year:

“Methane is the product we bring to market. We sell methane – that is natural gas. That’s what we want to sell. … We don’t need regulation to tell us to do that because we are incentivized to do that. It’s not a byproduct or something. It is the product we’re selling. … We’re developing these technologies because we want to more and more capture natural gas.”

This is exactly what’s happening, as new data from EPA shows.

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Roadblocking America’s Energy Revolution

energy regulation  oil and natural gas development  epa  boem  blm  fracking  economic growth  ozone  renewable fuel standard  methane  offshore drilling  access 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 24, 2015

Last week’s release of the federal Bureau of Land Management’s new hydraulic fracturing rule suggests it’s time to update an infographic we posted last summer on the administration’s regulatory march that could impede America’s energy revolution. 

Unfortunately, the administration’s plans for energy regulation aren’t encouraging – not if you truly grasp the historic opportunity that surging domestic production of oil and natural gas is providing the United States.

We’re talking about the complete rewrite of America’s energy narrative, from one of scarcity – limiting America’s economic possibilities and overshadowing its national security concerns – to one of abundance in which the U.S. is more self-sufficient, more prosperous and more secure in the world.

We call that historic, revolutionary, a true renaissance in American energy.

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Innovation Fuels America’s Energy Renaissance

american energy  innovation  technology  fracking  methane  keystone xl pipeline  anwr  arctic 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 19, 2015

TribLive: Mud makes it all possible. “Every component on that rig has something to do with that mud,” said Andrew Zeni, rig supervisor for Consol Energy Inc. “You couldn't drill a Marcellus or Utica well without mud.” This rather unsophisticated-looking brown sludge is a multipurpose tool carefully concocted, mixed and managed to clear a path for gas to surface from 7,500 feet below.

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Good Energy Policy Key to Energy, Economic Growth

american energy  policy  growth  methane emissions  keystone xl pipeline  taxes  fracking 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 13, 2015

EIA Today in Energy: The United States, Canada, China, and Argentina are currently the only four countries in the world that are producing commercial volumes of either natural gas from shale formations (shale gas) or crude oil from tight formations (tight oil). The United States is by far the dominant producer of both shale gas and tight oil. Canada is the only other country to produce both shale gas and tight oil. China produces some small volumes of shale gas, while Argentina produces some small volumes of tight oil. While hydraulic fracturing techniques have been used to produce natural gas and tight oil in Australia and Russia, the volumes produced did not come from low-permeability shale formations.

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More Good News on Methane Emissions – Again

methane emissions  natural gas production  hydraulic fracturing  regulation  epa 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 10, 2015

Standout findings in a new major field study on methane emissions from natural gas collection and processing facilities across 13 states, led by Colorado State University include a couple of points:

First, of 130 facilities that collect natural gas from production wells, remove impurities and deliver it to inter- and intrastate pipeline networks,  101 had methane loss rates below 1 percent – including 85 of the 114 gathering facilities and all 16 of the processing plants studied. Put another way, methane containment at these facilities is more than 99 percent.

Second, the majority of emissions resulted from abnormalities involving broken or faulty equipment – issues that are relatively easy to address.

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American Energy’s Staying Power

domestic oil production  crude prices  methane emissions  keystone xl pipeline  state department 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 20, 2015

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The new year has seen crude oil prices continue to stumble and U.S. oil production continue to soar, and those trends are not likely to subside — at least in the short term.

Total U.S. crude oil production reached 9.1 million barrels per day (bbl/d) during the week ending Jan. 9, an increase over last year’s total of 8.1 million, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

And that figure is expected to grow. The agency forecasts total crude production will average 9.3 million barrels per day in 2015 and climb to 9.5 million in 2016, “which would be the second-highest annual average level of production in U.S. history; the highest was 9.6 million bbl/d in 1970,” the EIA said in its short-term energy outlook released last week.

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The New Move to Regulate Methane

shale energy  methane emissions  emission reductions  regulation  epa ghg regulations  oil and natural gas development  american petroleum institute 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 15, 2015

As we look at the Obama administration’s plan to impose new regulations on methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations, some important points.

First, when it comes to methane emissions, the White House is focusing on a relatively small piece of the big picture. Data from EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program shows that methane emissions from natural gas and petroleum systems (161.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) represent just 28.5 percent of total methane emissions (567.3 million metric tons CO2 equivalent). That’s a fairly small wedge in the overall pie.


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2014 in Energy Charts

access  crude  crude markets  domestic energy  e15  economic benefits  emissions  energy regulation  epa  fracking  gasoline prices  global markets  horizontal drilling  hydraulic fracturing  methane emissions  offshore access  oil and natural gas development  ozone  regulation  renewable fuel standard 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 31, 2014

So long, 2014. From an energy standpoint, you’ll be missed. Let’s count the ways:

Surging domestic oil and natural gas production – largely thanks to safe hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – is driving an American energy revolution that’s creating jobs here at home and greater security for the United States in the world.

It’s a revolution with macro-economic and geopolitical impacts, for sure. But it’s also a revolution that’s benefit virtually every American.

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More Good News on Methane Emissions

safe operations  hydraulic fracturing  horizontal drilling  fracking  natural gas development  methane emissions  industry standards  epa regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 9, 2014

New research by the University of Texas shows what other studies have shown: methane emissions from natural gas production are lower than previously estimated. The UT study found that emissions represent just 0.38 percent of production – about 10 percent lower than a 2013 study by the same research team.

The UT study checked two sources of methane emissions in natural gas production: processes to clear wells of accumulated liquids to increase production, called liquid unloadings; and pneumatic controller devices that open and close valves.

The study found that just 19 percent of pneumatic devices accounted for 95 percent of emissions from that equipment, and that just 20 percent of wells with unloading emissions that vent to the atmosphere accounted for 65 percent to 85 percent of those emissions. David Allen, the study’s principal investigator:

“To put this in perspective, over the past several decades, 10 percent of the cars on the road have been responsible for the majority of automotive exhaust pollution. Similarly, a small group of sources within these two categories are responsible for the vast majority of pneumatic and unloading emissions at natural gas production sites.”

The results suggest that technologies and practices already in use by industry – voluntary efforts and those to comply with federal green completions rules that become standard in January – are working to reduce methane leaks.

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Technology, Innovation Fuel America’s Energy Surge

technology  innovation  fracking  methane  emissions  jobs 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted December 9, 2014

The Hill: Methane leaks from natural gas drilling and production have fallen from the last estimate more than a year ago, according to a study sponsored by the industry and an environmental group.

 

Leaks of methane, the main component of natural gas, now represent 0.38 percent of production volumes, according to the study released Tuesday.

That is 10 percent lower than what the same University of Texas research team found in September 2013. Methane is a greenhouse has about 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

“Study after study shows that industry-led efforts to reduce emissions through investments in new technologies and equipment are paying off,” Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the American Petroleum Institute, said in a statement.

 

“This latest study shows that methane emissions are a fraction of estimates from just a few years ago,” he said.

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