Oil and Gas Emissions Keep Declining in Defiance of Enemies
Jim Willis on NGL Pipelines
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
[Editor’s Note: GHG emissions from the oil and gas industry keep declining relative to production and this fact is revealed in a report assembled by the industry’s enemies.]
Three far-left organizations, the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), Ceres, and ERM Group, published their third annual report, “Benchmarking Methane and other GHG Emissions of Oil and Natural Gas Production in the United States” (full copy link below), which analyzes the production-based emissions of the largest oil and gas producers in the U.S.
While the aim of the report is to name-and-shame big oil and gas companies (the worst offenders) with respect to methane and so-called greenhouse gas emissions, the report could not gloss over the elephant in the room: This year’s analysis found that reported methane and greenhouse gas intensity in the oil and gas sector have declined 28% and 30%, respectively, between 2019 and 2021, despite an increase in natural gas and total hydrocarbon production.
You read that right. Oil and gas production keeps increasing, but methane and CO2 emissions from oil and gas companies are decreasing–dramatically.
While it’s mildly interesting to us that a rabidly leftist group like the Clean Air Task Force is admitting methane emissions from oil and gas are decreasing, some of the peripheral data in the report caught our attention.
The following graph from page 17 in the report (click to large) shows the methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by shale basin, along with overall hydrocarbon production by basin. The hydrocarbon production is converted into barrels of oil equivalent, so it’s a fair, apples-to-apples comparison. The chart shows while the Appalachian (M-U) basin is second in hydrocarbon production only to the Permian, Appalachia’s so-called GHG emissions are smaller than not just the Permian, but the Williston (Bakken), and the Gulf Coast. The M-U’s GHG emissions are only slightly larger than the Anadarko Basin in the Midcontinent region.
The following chart (click to enlarge) shows sources of emissions for each basin:
There are a number of interesting slides starting with Slide 25 that tabulate emissions and production for the top 100 hydrocarbon (both oil and gas) producers in the country. You can get lost in the data and charts (interesting stuff). As an example, here’s one chart that caught our eye (click to enlarge):
While this slide and several more that follow it review data on emissions intensity for 100 drillers, what caught our attention here is that when you convert both oil and natural gas into the same units—barrels of oil equivalent—EQT (which produces almost all natural gas) is the third largest producer in the country, not far behind Exxon and ConocoPhillips!
And, Southwestern Energy (again, almost all natural gas and some NGLs) is #5! Chesapeake Energy, which drills in the PA Marcellus, is the #7 largest producer. Coterra Energy, which drills exclusively in northeastern PA, is #9 on the list. This is truly astonishing, that when you convert oil and gas into the same units, our companies are beating out big oil companies when it comes to the production of hydrocarbons.
Editor’s Note: Readers can get the full report here, the Clean Air Task Force’s new release here and a news report from the very anti-gas Bloomberg outlet here. Jim, though, has provided the essential facts oil and gas enemies want to obscure; that the industry is doing everything asked of it, although it’s never enough for these apostles of deconstructionism.
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