Increased use of technologies and services that capture methane emissions from oil and gas systems could save the industry over $1 billion in lost product, reduce air pollution and create new jobs, according to an economic analysis by Datu Research and the Environmental Defense Fund.
The report identifies 76 companies that manufacture methane controls or offer related services at over 500 locations across 46 states.
The states with the highest concentration of facilities were Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, California, Wyoming, Illinois, Ohio and New Mexico. These states stand to gain the most from future growth associated with this industry.
According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change data, the oil and gas sector is the nation’s second largest industrial source of climate pollution, and about 25 percent of today’s manmade global warming is caused by methane emissions.
The EPA estimates oil and gas operations emit 7.7 million metric tons of methane per year, equal to $1.8 billion in lost company revenue. Cutting those emissions by at least 40 percent can be done for 1 cent per thousand cubic feet of gas produced.
The EDF analysis echoes an analysis by ICF International released earlier this year that said the US oil and gas industry could cost-effectively reduce emissions of methane to a large extent using available technologies and operating practices.
In March, the Obama administration released its methane reduction strategy that targets releases from landfills, coal mines, agriculture, and oil and gas production.
At the UN Climate Summit last month, six major oil and gas companies, in partnership with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, pledged to reduce methane leaks in fossil fuel production.