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    GLNG: Biden announces tighter methane rule for US oil and gas industry


    November 30, 2022 - bne Intellinews

     

      The Biden administration has unveiled a proposed tighter methane rule for the oil and gas sector as the US races to cut GHG emissions. Methane, the major component of natural gas and which can leak from pipelines, is an especially potent greenhouse gas (GHG).

      President Joe Biden, speaking at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, announced the proposed supplemental rule for methane along with other emissions standards. According to the new rule, the federal government will require oil and gas producers to detect and fix methane leaks at all sites, including at smaller existing sites that emit less than 2.72 tonnes per year (tpy) of the gas.

      The new methane regulation would add to a rule announced last year at the UN COP26 in Glasgow in 2021 targeting emissions from existing oil and gas wells, rather than only new wells as was the case in previous EPA regulations. New wells had routinely been checked but were rarely reassessed.

      The methane proposal also requires operators to respond to “credible” third-party reports of high-volume methane leaks, says a press release by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is called the Super-Emitter Response Programme.

      The new methane rule would eliminate 36mn tonnes of methane emissions from oil and gas operations by 2035, said EPA. Oil and natural gas operations are the nation’s largest industrial source of methane.

      “If finalised, these critical, common-sense standards will protect workers and communities, maintain and create high-quality, union-friendly jobs, and promote US innovation and manufacturing of critical new technologies, all while delivering significant economic benefits through increased recovery of wasted gas,” said the EPA.

      “Sharp cuts in methane emissions are among the most critical actions the US can take in the short term to slow the rate of climate change,” the EPA added.

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