Production Up, but Methane Emissions Down in Permian Basin
Even though energy companies are pulling more oil out of the Permian Basin, methane emissions have been declining in the west Texas drilling hotbed.
A report issued by the industry-funded program Energy In Depth shows emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, have fallen in the Permian Basin by 9% since 2011—from about 4.6 million to 4.2 million t. In the Gulf Coast region that includes southern Louisiana as well as the Eagle Ford shale of south Texas, emissions have dropped about 18%, from 5.1 million to 4.2 million t.
The numbers, which are derived from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, come despite a domestic drilling boom and a surge in the number of sources actually reporting numbers to the government. For instance, the Permian Basin’s oil production has climbed by nearly 28% since 2011, and, in the Eagle Ford, it has soared 450% over the same time frame.
Energy In Depth says that shows that “actions already being taken by the industry are delivering methane emission reductions, even as production skyrockets in Texas and all across the country.”