Methane concentrations in the atmosphere are rising, and the oil and gas industry is responsible for nearly a third of global methane emissions. The greenhouse gas is 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over its first 20 years in the atmosphere, and it’s responsible for a quarter of the temperature increase that has already taken place. At COP28, the annual United Nations climate conference taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the United States announced that it has finalized regulations to tackle this pressing problem.
On Saturday, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule to reduce methane emissions from the U.S. oil and gas industry, which is responsible for about 12 percent of global methane emissions from the sector. Methane is the main component of natural gas, and it leaks from every phase of oil and gas production, from extraction to transport to refining. The new rule requires oil field companies to monitor for leaks, fix them promptly, and phase out the practice of burning off natural gas into the atmosphere — a process called flaring. They must also minimize venting, ... Read more