Oil and gas industry in the US emits about 13 million metric tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and ozone from their operational industries per year. This amount is more than what the researchers at the US Environmental Protection Agency had estimated, a study published in journal Science claimed.
Researchers involved in the study found that most emission came from leaks, equipment breakdowns, and other failures in operating conditions. Impact of these leaks on the environment in 2015 was nearly same as impacts of carbon dioxide emission from coal-fired power plants present in the US.
Jeff Peischl, co-author of the study, said this study offers finest estimates on environmental impacts of oil and gas processes in the US to date. It is a conclusion for a study of more than 10 years conducted by scientists of many countries and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The study is based on the measurements recorded at more than 400 well pads in six oil and gas production locations and other facilities such as valves, tanks, and aerial equipment at industries.
The research was conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund and more than 16 institutes including the University of Texas Austin and the University of Colorado Boulder participated in the study.
Methane is prime elements of natural gas and one of the important GHG which has more warming impact by 80 times than carbon dioxide. The new study estimates emission at 2.3 percent of production in the US which is enough to harm the environment. Additionally, leaked methane is worth US$2 billion, the Environmental Defense Fund estimated.