According to a new analysis by the Environmental Partnership, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry has made significant progress in reducing emissions. The analysis, which is based on the partnership’s 2023 annual report, highlights the achievements of American companies in various environmental performance programs.
One of the key findings of the report is the reduction in flaring by participating companies. Flaring, which is the burning of natural gas to relieve pressure from pipelines, leads to the release of carbon dioxide and water into the atmosphere. The report reveals that participating companies achieved a 14% reduction in total flaring volumes reported and a 2.4% reduction in flare intensity compared to the previous year. This reduction in flaring occurred despite a 5.6% increase in U.S. oil production and a 4% increase in natural gas production during the same period.
The report also sheds light on the concept of emissions intensity, which measures the amount of methane emitted or flared equivalent to a produced barrel of oil. By burning methane through flaring, greenhouse gas emissions are prevented from entering the atmosphere. This is an important factor in reducing fugitive emissions, which refers to unburned natural gas released into the atmosphere.
The Environmental Partnership’s report emphasizes the ongoing commitment of its participants to reducing methane emissions through various approaches. These include innovative facility design, improvements in operational practices, advancements in detecting and measuring emissions, and enhanced accuracy in emissions reporting.
Over the past decade, U.S. operators have successfully reduced methane emissions relative to production by 66% in the largest producing regions. This reflects the industry’s dedication to environmental stewardship and its proactive efforts to address climate change.
Source: The Center Square, The Environmental Partnership annual report.