Energy Exchange

Details, Details: Quiet Action at COP 27 Tees Up a Big Year for Methane

 

It’s no surprise that COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt closed with few groundbreaking headlines. Going in, we knew it would be  a “working COP” focused on steps to advance the commitments made at previous gatherings. And while some important steps were made on technical issues and a historic agreement on funding arrangements for loss and damage was sparked, there was real progress in the fight to reduce methane, the pollutant driving nearly a third of current warming.

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Posted in Methane / Language: / Comments are closed

Key things we learned from studying methane in the nation’s largest oilfield 

By Ben Hmiel and Jon Goldstein

After three years of actively collecting methane emissions data in the Permian Basin, researchers have gained new insights that will make it easier to reduce emissions of the incredibly potent greenhouse gas methane. These insights are helping inform state and federal regulatory approaches at a critical time. 

Download the final report.  Read More »

Also posted in Flaring, General, Methane regulatons, New Mexico, PermianMAP, Texas / Language: / Comments are closed

Unreported pollution: What new research reveals about Canada’s methane problem

By Scott Seymour and Ari Pottens

Canada has set arguably some of the most ambitious goals of any country when it comes to reducing emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane. In addition to joining a global coalition of countries pledging to reduce 30% of their methane emissions, Canada has also vowed to reduce oil and gas sector emissions even further, by 75%.

But how close is Canada to reaching that goal? New research published this week in the journal Elementa reveals it is almost impossible to accurately answer that question with our current policies.

Here’s why.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Canada, Methane regulatons / Language: / Comments are closed

Research shows gathering pipelines in the Permian Basin leaking 14 times more methane than officials estimate

Methane plume detected on a gathering pipeline during 2021 survey.

Methane plume detected on a gathering pipeline during 2021 survey.

By Erin Murphy and Jevan Yu

Methane emissions from natural gas gathering pipelines in the U.S. Permian Basin are at least 14 times greater than Environmental Protection Agency national inventory estimates, according to new peer-reviewed research from EDF, Stanford University and the University of Arizona. Gathering lines transport unprocessed gas from well sites to processing facilities and vary widely in size and pressure, with diameters ranging from two inches to as large as 30 inches. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with over 84 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide over its first 20 years in the atmosphere, and this new research indicates the importance of finding and fixing pipeline methane leaks to mitigate the climate crisis.

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Also posted in Air Quality, BLM Methane, General, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, PermianMAP / Language: / Comments are closed

New study finds flaring source of five times more pollution than previously thought

A new study out today in the journal Science finds that climate-warming methane emissions from flaring, the practice of burning off gas rather than capturing it for productive use, are five times higher than government estimates — primarily due to unlit and malfunctioning flares. Researchers conclude that flares are combusting at a 91% efficiency rate, significantly lower than the 98% efficiency rate that is assumed by operators and policymakers.

These findings confirm that our current environmental standards are not adequately controlling this pollution source and underline the need for urgent regulatory action from the Environmental Protection Agency  and Bureau of Land Management to limit pollution and waste from flaring.

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Also posted in Air Quality, BLM Methane, Climate, General, Methane regulatons / Language: / Comments are closed

INTERACTIVE MAP: Who is impacted most by overlooked pollution from America’s small oil and gas wells

A new EDF map is making it easier to access information about the communities across the country who are impacted by pollution from small oil and gas wells with leak-prone equipment.

There are over half a million wells across the country that are producing less than 15 barrels of oil and gas a day. But while they produce just 6% of the nation’s oil and gas, a new study reveals they are causing half of wellsite pollution nationwide.

Explore the map to learn more about your county.

This pollution has a very real impact on the climate and on the health of communities who live near these facilities. Not only do these facilities emit significant volumes of the potent greenhouse gas methane, they also leak other pollution that is toxic to human health and can severely deteriorate air quality.

Nearly 8 million people across the country live within half a mile of these well sites. A closer look at the data reveals that pollution from these wells has a disproportionate impact on many historically marginalized or vulnerable communities.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Methane regulatons / Language: / Comments are closed