After months of anticipation, the Obama Administration this month released its new methane emissions strategy – a plan that opens up new opportunities for industry writ large, and especially for operators that want to cut waste and get ahead.
The centerpiece of the strategy are imminent rules that will help us meet a new national goal to reduce harmful methane pollution from oil and natural gas operations by 45 percent by 2025.
But the rules also bring direct industry benefits. Here are four reasons the new methane emissions strategy is a boon, rather than bane, for America’s $1.2-trillion oil and gas sector:
1. It tackles $1.8 billion in annual waste and adds market certainty
Leaky infrastructure and unnecessary venting across the oil and gas value chain cost an estimated $1.8 billion in wasted product and lost revenue annually.
The new rules require companies to include up-to-date controls as they build out new and modified infrastructure, keeping gas in the pipeline while making new facilities more efficient.
Research shows such investments would cost industry no more than a penny on average per one thousand cubic feet of natural gas produced, and even save money in some cases.
The new rules also help bring market certainty.
As Goldman Sachs has pointed out, methane regulations are needed to address investor concerns, and unlock job creation and the most positive future for this American fuel.
Yes, as popular as the trend may be with consumers, today’s low oil prices cause economic pain for producers, and some operators are cutting back on costs.
But executives with vision beyond the next quarter can see that small, short-term investments in emission reduction technologies and practices are part of the longer game. Read more