Houston Chronicle

U.S. oil companies are wasting a record amount of natural gas instead moving it to market and selling it, a new report from the Energy Information Administration shows.

Report: U.S. oil producers burning record amount of natural gas- oil and gas 360

Source; Houston Chronicle

In a pair of industry practices known as venting and flaring, oil companies that don’t have their wells connected to natural gas pipelines either release into the atmosphere or burning off on site. The natural gas is a byproduct of drilling for oil, which is a more valuable product.

Oil companies vented or flared a record 1.28 billion cubic of natural gas per day during 2018, a Friday morning report from the EIA shows. At the current market price of $2.41 per milllion British thermal units, that’s roughly $1.1 billion worth of natural gas burned off or wasted per year.

Texas oil wells accounted for 51 percent of the flaring and venting activity while oil wells in North Dakota accounted to 31 percent.

Vented and flared natural gas increased to 1.25 percent of overall production from 0.84 percent reported in 2017.

The industry practice of flaring has come under fire in Texas where Oklahoma pipeline operator Williams recently filed an anti-flaring lawsuit against the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state agency that regulates the oil and natural gas industry.

In its lawsuit, Williams argued that the agency grants natural gas flaring permits too easily instead of requiring oil producers to move it to market and sell it.



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