The Environmental Protection Agency finalized rules today that require the oil and natural gas industry to report its greenhouse gas emissions.
While the EPA is not yet limiting emissions from these sectors, the agency said today in a statement that the data reported by the industry will “help identify cost effective ways to minimize the loss of methane.”
Starting Jan. 1, 2011, all oil and natural gas facilities that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year must report those emissions to the EPA.
The industry releases a significant amount of greenhouse gases. Some background on the industry’s emissions, via EPA:
The petroleum and natural gas industries emit methane, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and are one of the largest human related sources of methane in the United States. Annual methane emissions from intentional venting and equipment leaks from these industries are comparable to annual emissions from more than 40 million passenger cars.
The rule impacts a number of segments of the oil and gas industry, including offshore and onshore oil and gas production, natural gas storage and oil and gas pipelines. According to the EPA, it will cost the industry an estimated $62 million in the first year to comply with the rule and an additional $19 million for every year after that. That breaks down to about $16,000 per facility for the first year and $7,000 for the following years.