Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Production over the Past 5 Years

Greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas production trends downward as production increases.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Production over the Past 5 Years - News

Updated: November 14, 2017

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Production over the Past 5 Years

Courtesy Penn State Extension

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the 2016 greenhouse gas emissions inventory in August. The report provides a comprehensive accounting of GHG emissions by a variety of emitters including onshore oil and gas production. The individual basins can be analyzed as well as type of greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N20), and/or various fluorinated GHG), emission ranges, and facilities.

Over the past 5 years in the Appalachian Basin (the Eastern Overthrust Area per EPA’s reports), while natural gas production increased dramatically, the CO2 and CH4 emissions have decreased. This may be attributed to the conversion of many power plants from coal to natural gas as well as increased monitoring and technology efficiency. For the nation, CO2 emissions increased 24% in the past 5 years while CH4 emissions decreased by 24%. In the Appalachian Basin alone, CO2 levels went from 2.7 million metric tons (MMT) to 1.5 MMT, a decrease of 44%. Methane levels decreased from 3.8 MMT to 3.0 MMT, or by 21% .

In the same time frame, the US natural gas production increased from 22.9 billion cubic feet (BCF) in 2011 to 26.7 BCF in 2016. For the Appalachian basin in OH, PA and WV, gas production went from 1.8 BCF to 7.9 BCF, a 338% increase.

Additional information on the EPA and their greenhouse gas emissions site

Data on the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) natural gas production