Critical Window: 2024 Methane Fee


Jan 31, 2023

Space Race: Tracking Methane

Under provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), in 2024 the EPA will begin imposing methane emission fees of $900/ton of methane, rising to $1,500/ton in 2026. Using recent emissions data, Kayrros estimates 2024 industry costs at $1.25 billion, and tripling to $3.3 billion in 2026.

Real-time Data

While specific measurement tools and technologies are not specified, satellite monitoring is likely to be the first choice for government enforcement metrics. Several companies provide near-real-time satellite information on GHG emissions all over the planet – the window is closing rapidly on industry self-reporting.

Current space-based climate and GHG assessment projects:

A Permian Basin study by Kayrros found that midstream facilities comprise nearly 80% of the U.S. methane fossil fuel super-emitters. An article in Science found that U.S. oil and gas supply chain emissions may be severely undercounted by land-based data collection, and another confirmed large releases from equipment maintenance and failures.

Carbon dioxide and methane are the two largest human contributors to global warming. Atmospheric carbon dioxide lasts for hundreds of years: methane, a potent heat-trapper, for about a decade.

Reducing methane emissions offers the most impactful way to reducing global temperature in the short term.

Newly launched satellite networks are discovering and precisely locating unsuspected super-emitter and large-scale GHG emissions around the world from oil and gas equipment, landfills, and more.

In the Permian Basin, data from a three-year aerial survey estimated that mitigation could cut methane emissions by 100,000 metric tons/year and prevent a $26 million/year of gas losses.

Co$t of Delay

Identifying methane emissions sources and quantifying emissions volumes through satellite data now will let companies identify and prioritize mitigation of their large-scale methane emissions, minimizing or even avoiding the financial pain of EPA methane fees.