Shutting down entire industries to reduce methane emissions is not the answer.
Methane persists in the atmosphere for only about a decade, but holds about 80 times the heat of carbon dioxide, which persists for centuries. This rapid and intense warming can create and intensify a feedback loop that heats up the Earth’s surface, causing more carbon and methane to be released from natural sources such as Artic permafrost. Atmospheric CO2 is 200 times more prevalent than methane, but methane is 25 times more damaging to the planet.
Livestock, landfills, and oil and gas production are the main sources of U.S. methane emissions. Internationally, coal mining and agricultural methods also release methane. Estimating local, national, or global methane emissions is difficult due to lack of standardized tools and measurement methods.
Emissions from abandoned/orphaned oil and gas wells also contribute significant levels of methane.
Current federal policies focus on reducing fossil fuel emissions and implementing carbon capture to limit global warming to 2° Celsius. The Inflation Reduction Act promotes research and projects to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and industrial emissions.
Methane emissions from organic waste can be prevented with anaerobic “digesters” but researchers are trying to collect released methane from other emissions sources.
Research and projects:
The Inflation Reduction Act will impose tremendous costs on methane emissions: In 2024, U.S. facilities will pay $900 for every metric ton of methane they release. Fees per ton rise to $1,500 in 2026.
While there are emerging possibilities and feasibility to carbon capture and storage, methane capture is not yet possible. Methane capture technology would significantly and rapidly reduce global warming – but pulling methane from the atmosphere is still a concept, not a reality and carbon capture and storage has still yet to be demonstrated economically at scale. Carbon capture and storage is certainly a worthwhile endeavor to pursue and important to long-term efforts to reduce emissions, but preventing gases from escaping in the first place should be our priority.
Identifying leaks and sealing them is the most effective method for preventing atmospheric methane releases at the moment and thus should be the focus of emissions reduction initiatives. BioSqueeze provides a proven, cost-effective solution for sealing methane leaks in oil and gas wells, ensuring gas is permanently sequestered via the formation of a gas-tight caprock barrier stronger than cement.
Aug 15, 2022
Up to $32 million will be provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to fund research and development of technologies to measure and reduce methane emissions in oil and gas production. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is intended to make U.S. natural gas infrastructure more efficient while supporting global methane emissions reduction....
Oct 25, 2022
Ontario is facing a problem – the past. Orphan wells, relics of Ontario’s claim as the first North American commercial drilling site, are contaminating the land and endangering public health. Orphan wells can leak methane (CH4), a powerful greenhouse gas with 80 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a deadly gas responsible for many workplace safety incidents....