May 12, 2016 Administration’s Methane Regulations Threatens Industry’s Progress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) Executive Vice President Lee Fuller reiterated the oil and natural gas industry’s priority of capturing the primary component of natural gas as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued its final regulation for methane emissions on new and modified wells.
“We are currently reviewing the EPA’s final rule on methane emissions for new sources. Methane is the primary component of the product we produce. Our industry continues to lead in reducing emissions and allowing companies to sell more of their product. Industry innovations have led to safer, faster, more efficient and less costly methods of production, allowing our nation to enjoy the environmental, economic, and energy security benefits of this affordable and reliable American resource.
“In light of industry’s success in reducing emissions under current regulations, even as oil and natural gas production has risen dramatically, parts of the EPA’s final rules appear to remove flexibilities for producers and could actually undermine industry’s progress. In particular, the fugitive emissions program largely locks in costly, handpicked monitoring technologies and suppresses the development of other approaches that could be more cost-effective and efficient. Significantly, the new monitoring program will now force this costly, ineffective fugitive emissions requirement to be perpetual – even when the wells become marginal producers. The cost burden on a new well – producing 1000 mcfd – is vastly different than it would be on a marginal gas well that averages 22 mcfd. Consequently, these regulations will make these dependable wells uneconomic to produce far sooner, eliminating this important component of U.S. production. This is the intent of extreme environmental activists who want to keep America’s abundant, safely regulated resources in the ground.
“Even worse, EPA’s new rules will have virtually no impact on global temperatures. Instead, they will make it much more difficult for companies to continue producing the clean-burning fuel that has been responsible for making the United States the world leader in greenhouse gas reductions. It appears this administration has once again sided with extreme environmental activists, instead of encouraging the growth of America’s small businesses and strengthening our nation’s energy security.”
Methane emissions from oil and natural gas production-related activities only account for slightly under two percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. IPAA, in its December 2015 comments to the EPA, addressed the costly impacts to small producers by moving forward with this burdensome new regulation. IPAA President and CEO Barry Russell explained in an op-ed in The Hill that reducing methane emissions has long been an industry priority, which has often gone unrecognized.
About the Independent Petroleum Association of America
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) is a national upstream trade association representing thousands of independent oil and natural gas producers and service companies across the United States. Independent producers develop 90 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells. These companies account for 54 percent of America’s oil production, 85 percent of its natural gas production, and support over 2.1 million American jobs. Learn more about IPAA by visiting www.ipaa.org and following @IPAAaccess on Twitter.