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Texas’ Methane Emissions Just 0.12% in 2022, a Record Low

A new report found that the state’s methane output last year continued its decadelong downward trend, confirming that Permian Basin oil and natural gas producers are successfully lowering emissions.

A new report indicates Texas' Permian Basin oil and natural gas producers are succeeding in driving methane emissions lower even as oil and natural gas output rises to record highs.

Texans for Natural Gas, an educational campaign of the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, released its new report indicating Texas producers drove methane intensity to a record low 0.12 percent in 2022 even as output reached record levels. The report emphasized the decade-long downward trend in methane intensity.

The report comes a week after the US Environmental Protection Agency issued its final regulations covering methane emissions.

Ed Longanecker, TIPRO president and spokesperson for Texans for Natural Gas, told the Reporter-Telegram by email, "According to a recent study, the new methane rules will directly impact hundreds of thousands of low producing wells in the United States and could have a notable impact on future oil and gas production volumes. We are currently reviewing the language and coordinating with our members and partner trade associations across the country. I also suspect there will be legal challenges to this rulemaking, so we will need to wait and see how it ultimately plays out."

Since the rules are expected to directly impact hundreds of thousands of low-producing wells, TIPRO is engaged in a variety of initiatives to specifically help smaller operators, according to Longanecker. He wrote key elements of those initiatives include providing educational resources and training on methane detection and mitigation techniques, developing a collaborative program to provide affordable Leak Detection and Repair services and routine maintenance, access to funding programs for equipment upgrades and repairs that prevent or reduce methane leakage. Efforts also include guidance on revised emissions reporting through the Environmental Protection Agency Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) and how this affects producers.

Authors of the study noted the US oil and natural gas industry has invested more than $300 billion in technologies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions over the past two decades.

"Effective solutions exist, but some are cost prohibitive for certain operators. We are working on a collaborative effort to create some economy of scale for producers in the Permian Basin to access and utilize satellite technology to reduce emissions in partnership with a company called Satelytics," Longanecker wrote.

The consortium would allow more companies to collaboratively monitor overlapping assets of oil and gas and pipeline infrastructure using satellite data analyzed by AI-based analytics that yield actionable alerts, far superior to other providers. This type of innovation and collaboration will continue to expand and positively impact emission reduction efforts beyond the notable and quantifiable success our industry has already achieved, as noted in our new report, he continued.

In addition to Satelytics, Permian Basin operators are utilizing drones to access difficult-to-reach areas, and fixed cameras and sensors to enable around-the-clock surveillance. Through organizations like The Environmental Partnership and Texas Methane and Flaring Coalition, operators continue to collaborate and share best practices to reduce emissions and remain leaders in sustainable energy production, the report added.

The Permian Basin's success in reaching some of the lowest methane intensity rates in the world exemplifies the region's commitment to environmental stewardship. We will continue to proactively work to minimize oil and gas development's environmental impact—all while producing affordable, abundant, and reliable energy," Longanecker concluded.

(c)2023 the Midland Reporter-Telegram (Midland, Texas) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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