Regulation Roundup: August 2023


Aug 08, 2023

White House Summit: Methane Emissions Reduction Program

The White House Methane Summit, held on July 26th, was convened to address methane emissions. Major topics included:

  • Establishment of a Cabinet-level Methane Task Force to promote a “whole-of-government” approach and expedite the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan. The task force will support state and local mitigation efforts and enforcement of methane emission regulations.
  • Utilization of cutting-edge technology to detect and monitor methane emissions. Super emitter events are tracked by satellite (NASA data portal). A new open access data portal is being developed by NASA, EPA, NIST, and NOAA. In January 2023, NOAA and NIST launched a program to measure and model emissions.
  • Measures to reduce methane (plugging orphaned wells, equipment inspections). A major component of US methane reduction programs is well plugging: This reduces methane, benefits local community health, and creates jobs. Plugging funding is available for 26 states, who must measure orphaned well methane emissions to qualify for funding.
  • Identification of and response to large emission events. Methane leaks and venting will be subject to strict compliance standards. The EPA and DOE released a Notice of Intent to fund identification and plugging of low-production wells. The DOE is funding research to develop and implement methane emissions monitoring technologies.
  • Coordination of international methane mitigation to accelerate the Global Methane Pledge. The DOE will measure, monitor, report, and verify GHG emissions from natural gas supply chains.

EPA Rules: GHG Reporting Program

The proposed action to revise the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program was published in the Federal Register on August 1, 2023, starting the 60-day public comment period. The revisions are intended to improve GHG reporting accuracy.

Four primary rule amendments:

  • Include new covered sources – “other large release events”
  • Add or update calculation methods to improve accuracy, and require additional data
  • Collect more detailed data for verification and data transparency
  • Improve understanding and compliance through rule clarifications and corrections

The EPA will hold a virtual public hearing on August 21, 2023, on the recently proposed “Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule: Revisions and Confidentiality Determinations for Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems” (subpart W).

Pre-registration (by August 16) is required to speak at the Zoom hearing, and each registered speaker will be allowed 4 minutes. The general agenda will be posted August 18 at

The EPA suggests submitting a written copy of your oral comments to and written comments may be submitted before October 2 through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, Docket EPA–HQ–OAR–2023–0234.

Colorado Intensity Program: Free Market Mitigation

The fifth-largest US oil and gas producer, Colorado has set state standards for 2025 that connect production to measurement and reduction of methane emissions. Enhanced equipment inspections are also required. This “intensity program” allows energy producers to choose methane reduction methods, and Colorado will collect data to gauge results.

Operators submit detailed inventory information, calculate GHG intensity for every 1,000 BOE, and create a plan to meet carbon intensity goals. For producers over 10 million BOE, the 2025 maximum emission per 1,000 BOE is 11 tons of CO2 equivalent. Smaller producers can emit 34 tons of CO2 equivalent per 1,000 BOE. Allowed emissions levels decrease in 2027 and 2030, and new operators may face stricter limits.

Operators must use ground-based measurement, and state regulators will take satellite and air-based measurements. The initial intensity program protocol should be completed this year.

Economical Action: Methane Mitigation

With regulations around emissions continuing to tighten, economical reduction methods are more important than ever. Annular leaks and gas migration are known to be sources of fugitive methane emissions, but to date remediation has proven expensive due to the ineffectiveness of traditional methods. BioSqueeze provides an economical solution to eliminating methane, utilizing the natural process of biomineralization to permanently seal leaks.

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