How do government regulations impact the oil and gas drilling sector? By Investopedia Updated August 24, — 1: The oil and gas drilling sectors are recognized as being a vital part of the U.
Natural gas has become a competitive choice for electricity generation, edging out coal. Because gas contains less carbon than coalgreenhouse gas emissions from power plants have dropped, and the U.
More natural gas is also entering the power sectors in Mexico and Canada. Methane, its primary component, is a powerful greenhouse gas. It leaks to the atmosphere from wells and pipelines, contributing to climate change and reducing the climate benefit of using natural gas.
Today, however, Canada is just beginning to contemplate more comprehensive regulatory limits on methane. Mexico has made only nonbinding pledges so far, and the Trump administration is rolling back federal methane regulation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, natural gas and petroleum systems are the largest source of methane emissions in the United States.
USEPA Scientists are still working to quantify methane emissions from oil and gas production, and to improve tools for detecting and reducing methane leaks.
But even though much of the science is still uncertain, and the Trump administration is retreating from regulating methane leaks, we believe it is still possible and necessary to make progress on reducing methane emissions.
Many actors — including state and provincial governments, industry, and nongovernmental organizations — are working to advance methane measurement and mitigation efforts. To be effective, they need to work in concert. In a newly published synthesis articlewe propose a North American Methane Reduction Framework to coordinate regulations, voluntary industry actions and scientific developments in methane estimation and mitigation.
This approach can bridge the divide between science and policy, and drive new research that in turn can support better policies when governments are ready to act.
Measurement gaps and partial responses Despite huge advances, large gaps in methane emissions inventories remain. The magnitude of leaks from oil and gas infrastructure remains disputed and insufficiently measured.
Regional studies have found that up to 90 percent of emissions come from a small number of sources that leak large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. There also are many discrepancies in how methane emissions are measured from place to place. States and provinces have inconsistent reporting requirements, applying different thresholds over which facilities must report emissions.
And there are unexplained differences between facility-level estimates of methane coming out of leaky valves and pipes on one hand, and measurements of methane in the atmosphere near oil and gas facilities.
Meanwhile, mitigation work is proceeding slowly. Companies have detected and limited some methane leaks, recapturing what represents lost product. However, earnings from recovering fugitive methane are not always sufficient to justify voluntary action.
Environmentalists and the energy industry have common interests in finding and repairing methane leaks. This suggests a need for regulation.
To date, Alberta and British Columbia have set targets, but are still developing regulations. Although natural gas is produced in 32 U. And only California conducts atmospheric monitoring statewide to track top-down methane trends. In Mexico, the regulatory framework for oil and gas is nascent.
Partnering to find solutions Our framework encourages cross-sector collaborations and scientific research that informs public policy. Scientists from industry, nongovernment organizations and universities can work together to share data and analyze emissions profiles at oil and gas sites, so long as their research is truly independent and peer-reviewed.
State agencies can agree to harmonize reporting standards in order to facilitate research by scientists in all sectors. Companies can partner with enforcement agencies to deploy new sensors and measurement tools.
There are precedents for this kind of collaboration. For example, an innovative partnership between industry, academics and the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund has brought together researchers to collect data and conduct methane estimation and measurements.
This work is designed to improve government emissions inventories and inform mitigation policies, and is distinct from advocating for specific policy outcomes. Similar partnerships have helped to drive solutions to other problems during national leadership voids.
For example, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is a coalition of governments, companies, investors and civil society organizations that promotes standards for industry reporting of oil, gas, and mining revenues.
While its impacts vary from country to country, the initiative has been credited with establishing transparency as an international norm and promoting dialogue between governments, businesses and nongovernment organizations. Natural gas is projected to produce a growing share of U.See the human activities that add GHGs to our atmosphere and options to cut emissions.
Find out more about global greenhouse gas emissions and trends. Review EPA's Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks report. Explore facility-level data collected through EPA's GHG Reporting. This page contains state and federal updates on the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan-- the final rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from future and existing power plants-- under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.
Find out how states are responding. U.S. Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. 2. During this time, the EPA refrained from taking regulatory action to control GHG emissions, although under Clinton’s Administrator, Carol.
Environmental regulation can be seen as having a positive impact on the gas drilling sector in particular. Existing measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions mainly have a negative.
Federal Register/Vol. 82, No. /Thursday, December 28, /Proposed Rules 1 The air pollutants of interest in this ANPRM are GHGs. However, any emission guidelines in a potential rule likely would be expressed as guidelines to limit emissions of CO 2 as it is the primary GHG emitted from fossil fuel-fired EGUs.
Sustainable Business provides daily green news from across the world.