Large Methane Leaks in the Permian Basin are Polluting the Environment as Much as 500,000 Cars

27th January, 2022.      //   Climate Change  // 
A pumpjack near Andrews, Texas.

A pumpjack near Andrews, Texas.

According to a new analysis from Carbon Mapper and the Environmental Defense Fund, a review of oil and gas facilities in Texas and New Mexico discovered 30 so-called “super-emitters” that are releasing as much heat-trapping pollution as approximately half a million cars.

Natural gas leaking from wells, pipelines, compressor stations, and processing facilities across the Permian Basin was discovered after three years of aerial surveys. In the short term, natural gas is mostly made up of methane, which retains roughly 80 times as much heat as carbon dioxide. Despite accounting for only.001 percent of the region’s oil and gas infrastructure, the report’s 30 super-emitters emit about 100,000 metric tons of methane per year.

Gas leaks are well-known for having a significant impact on the environment while also being a relatively low-cost problem to fix. Firms can save valuable natural gas by plugging leaks in oil and gas infrastructure, which they can then sell to recuperate some or all of the cost of the repairs. According to the analysis, fixing leaks at the 30 super-emitters in the Permian Basin would save $26 million in natural gas per year.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first rule last year to assist the United States reach its international climate objectives by reducing methane emissions from existing oil and gas operations. More than 100 countries have pledged to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030, with the United States joining them.

“The magnitude of methane emissions from a few methane sources in one of the world’s top oil- and gas-producing regions demonstrates the potential for significant near-term progress toward the United States’, other countries’, and companies’ stated methane reduction goals,” said Riley Duren, CEO of Carbon Mapper and a University of Arizona research scientist. All molecules matter in this crucial decade for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, and the fact that some facilities have been leaking methane for years without being detected or repaired underscores the urgent need for extensive and transparent methane monitoring.”

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