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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Methane Levels Continue to Drop Even as Drilling Increases

From ExxonMobil:
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said last week her agency will soon unveil new regulations for oil and natural gas production designed to reduce emissions of methane. 
We’re watching closely because methane emissions are already falling – and dramatically so – making for one of the most profound and heartening environmental stories in recent years.Emissions_Decline_Chart_12-2014The numbers are striking. As the agency’s own Greenhouse Gas Reporting program shows, since 1990, U.S. methane emissions have fallen 16.9 percent.That drop is even more impressive if you consider that the overall size of the U.S. economy is far bigger today than a quarter century ago, and we produce more natural gas than we did then. The latter point is significant because methane leaks from oil and natural gas production are considered to be among the largest contributors to overall methane emissions. 
But as they say on TV, “Wait, there’s more!” 
The bulk of the emissions reductions have come over the last decade, precisely the same period that domestic oil and natural gas production from America’s shale and tight oil regions has been soaring.
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