US Oil, Gas Partnership Says Members Flared 50% Less Gas From Wells in 2020
Major US oil and gas producers have cut the volume of natural gas flared from oil and gas wells by 50% in a year as measured by energy intensity, according to a partnership organized by the industry's largest trade group.
Major US oil and gas producers have cut the volume of natural gas flared from oil and gas wells by 50% in a year as measured by energy intensity, according to a partnership organized by the industry's largest trade group, the American Petroleum Institute (API).
The Environmental Partnership, composed of US oil and gas companies, said the amount of gas flared dropped to 0.66% of oil and gas production in 2020, compared with 1.31% of 2019's total production reported by the 34 companies that contributed to the report.
The report was released as Democrats in Congress consider adding a fee for methane emissions to their $3.5 trillion budget package and the Biden administration ponders direct regulation aimed at cutting emissions of the potent greenhouse gas.
API favors direct regulation over any methane fee, the group's president and chief executive officer, Mike Sommers, said during a press conference on 9 September to release the Environmental Partnership annual report. "We don't believe that it's an efficient or an effective way to reduce emissions," Sommers said, referring to the proposed fee. "The current methane fee proposal that we've seen actually just attacks American energy production; it is not a tax on emissions."
"Collectively, the companies diverted 171 Bcf of gas from being flared, effectively mitigating 9.4 million metric tons of emissions on the carbon dioxide equivalent basis," partnership Director Matthew Todd said. Todd is also a senior policy adviser for API.
While the partnership said the volume of gas flared dropped 50%, it did not provide any data on the total volumes of gas flared in 2019 and 2020, only intensity. In general, the volume of gas flared was reduced over the year while the total production of the reporting companies was roughly the same, for a less intense mix, the partnership said.