Methane leak data and campaign to cut emissions

Ten major oil companies will now be required to disclose more methane emission data from the Perm Basin. The House Science Committee decided that companies need to do more to track and reduce the amount of methane that pollutes this part of Texas and New Mexico. Already, more than a hundred other countries have promised to cut 30% of their methane emissions by the end of the decade. It’s time for the United States to catch up.

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“The United States cannot achieve its targeted reduction in methane emissions during the Global Methane Pledge without a rapid and large-scale decline in the oil and gas sector’s methane leaks,” Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Chairman of the House Committee. on Science, Space and Technology, wrote in a letter to corporate executives, according to the Washington Post. “The existence of these leaks, as well as the continuing uncertainty as to their size, duration, and frequency, threatens the United States’ ability to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.”

Related: Little-known companies top America’s list of top methane pollutants

ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum are some of the major operators in the Perm Basin that have been notified of methane. Earlier this year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that “more than 70 percent of current emissions from oil and gas operations are technically feasible.” The agency estimated that around 45% of leaks could be resolved at no net cost, as companies often capture and sell natural gas that might otherwise escape.

Methane is the predominant component of natural gas, which comes right behind carbon dioxide as the largest contributor to climate change. Methane disappears faster than carbon dioxide, but is 80 times stronger once it is released into the atmosphere – and for the next 20 years.

In order to capture escaping methane, companies need more accurate data to determine whether to build new pipelines, storage and treatment centers. Johnson is concerned about the accuracy of current leakage detection and repair programs and is concerned that oil and gas companies “may not be designed and equipped to extensively monitor and detect methane leaks, particularly the intermittent, ‘super-emitting’ leaks. responsible for much of the sector’s leakage emissions. ”

Via Washington Post

Lead image via Pixabay

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