Tackling flaring: Learnings from leading Permian operators

Natural gas flaring has been a long-time concern for the oil & gas industry. In a decarbonizing world and increasingly competitive energy industry, eliminating routine flaring is critical to minimize climate impact and curtail economic waste.

As the Permian Basin witnessed a rapid growth in oil production over the past decade, the rate of routine natural gas flaring also increased at an alarming rate.

While flaring is a widespread industry problem, several Permian producers have found solutions to effectively minimizing flaring, achieving flaring intensity rates from less than 1% to 2.6% in the Permian, where the basin average is close to 4%.

Based on interviews with several of these Permian producers, this report outlines feasible and effective solutions to minimize flaring. Industry and other stakeholders can learn from these best-in-class producers to accelerate action and cost-effectively implement flaring solutions.

Colorado Politics Op-ed: Emissions reduction must start now

Everyone knows how important air and breathing is to human well-being. The elements for healthy life are straightforward: access to air to breathe and the quality of that air. Many of us in Colorado are denied access to quality, clean air.

The state legislature in 2019 passed two bills affecting air quality: SB19-181 and HB19-1261. SB19-181 in its first revised section addresses maximum reduction of emissions of methane and other hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, and oxides of nitrogen from oil and gas exploration and production facilities and natural gas processing. HB19-1261 declares that the policy of the state is to achieve the maximum practical degree of air purity in every portion of the state and to prevent deterioration of air quality. Both bills address the impact of emissions on climate change.

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Santa Fe New Mexican Op-ed: Strong clean air rules will protect the public

Health Action New Mexico and the New Mexico Public Health Association work to protect the health of New Mexico families, and we applaud Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s leadership and response to the coronavirus pandemic. She brings an informed public health perspective to her job and makes the tough decisions needed to protect the health of all New Mexicans.

The governor brings that same commitment to the fight against air pollution and climate change, and this week marks an important milepost in the state’s effort to reduce methane waste and pollution. On Tuesday, the state conducted the final public meeting on the Methane Advisory Panel technical working group, a key forum to bring stakeholders together and allow everyone to be heard. The governor and her environmental and natural resource agencies are right to stay the course in enacting nationally leading state ozone and methane rules this year.

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State of the Air 2020

The “State of the Air” 2020 found that, in 2016-2018, more cities had high days of ozone and short-term particle pollution compared to 2015-2017 and many cities measured increased levels of year-round particle pollution.

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, the landmark law that has driven dramatic improvements in air quality over its history. This is critical because far too many communities reported air pollution that still threatens health, and climate change impacts continue to threaten progress. Further, harmful revisions and setbacks to key protections currently in place or required under the Act threaten to make air quality even worse in parts of the country. “State of the Air” 2020 shows that we must not take the Clean Air Act for granted.

Athens News LTE: Court decision against fracking in Wayne forest worth applauding

This month, a victory for all Ohioans was achieved when a U.S. federal judge ruled to halt fracking in the Wayne National Forest, Ohio’s only national forest land. The ruling declared that the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management failed to take into account the negative impacts on the region’s air quality, species and watersheds when over 40,000 acres were opened to fracking.

The Wayne National Forest is one of Ohio’s recreational treasures, and the news is a win for all who enjoy this land. Yet despite this good news, the oil and gas industry continues to remain a risk to air quality for the rest of the state and country. The oil and gas industry is the nation’s primary source of methane, the main component of natural gas. Methane and other co-released pollutants pose a significant threat to climate and health.

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Santa Fe New Mexican Op-ed: N.M. needs to prioritize public health

This is a tough time for New Mexican families as schools and businesses close, travel is curtailed and social interaction is limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. During this crisis, I feel fortunate to have the leadership of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, because of her swift response to protect our health.

The governor’s commitment to public health runs deep. Before coronavirus was a household word, she had been working on proposed rules to clean up harmful oil and gas air pollution that contributes to climate change and harms the health of our families.

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Bucks County Courier Times Op-ed: EPA’s methane rules rollback agenda stinks

The recent rollbacks of methane rules by the EPA and Administrator Andrew Wheeler is both reckless regarding the health of the nation — and by extension the world — and a blatant illustration of government pandering to specific industries rather than being the watchdog of the nation.

Methane is a particularly toxic form of emission, 87 times more toxic than carbon dioxide and is already, today, responsible for approximately 25% of all emissions. If this isn’t enough, known carcinogens like Volatile Organic Compounds and benzene get spewed along with the methane itself. Does anyone need to be told how damaging this is to the lungs of all living creatures, but especially the young and the old?

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Ohio Capital Journal Op-ed: Methane pollution poses serious risks to our health

As the oil and gas industry expands rapidly in Ohio, so does the risk of methane pollution. Methane is the primary component of natural gas and is emitted at all stages of the oil and gas supply chain. 

The climate warming impact of methane over a 20-year period is estimated to be at least 86 times that of carbon dioxide. According to a 2018 publication in the journal Science, 13 million metric tons of methane was emitted by the oil and gas industry in 2015, representing the climate warming equivalent of all emissions from coal-fired power plants operating in the United States in 2015 and more than that of all the emissions from cars operating in the United States in 2015.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette LTE: Legislation, EPA oversight is necessary

One thing that the oil and gas industry and environmentalists agree on is that millions of metric tons of methane leak into our atmosphere every year. However, the latest science and direct measurements prove the Environmental Protection Agency is underestimating methane emissions by up to 60%. Groups that actually care about our air and aren’t led by a coal lobbyist say the oil and gas industry leaks around 13 million metric tons annually. Pennsylvania can’t afford a single extra ton of this dangerous greenhouse gas to be leaked into the air we breathe.

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Pennsylvania Capital-Star Op-ed: Methane reduction rules make environmental, economic sense. This is why.

Natural gas has succeeded in replacing dirtier fuels including coal as part of Pennsylvania’s energy mix. However, unless natural gas resources are developed responsibly – including the capture of methane emissions and leaks – it can be argued that we are replacing one pollution source for another.

Fortunately, this is something on which there is a growing chorus of agreement, and even the oil and gas industry itself has recognized the importance of methane regulations.

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