U.S. overstates methane leaks by gas drillers, study says

|By:, SA News Editor

Natural gas drilling sites aren't leaking as much methane as the federal government had estimated, according to a peer-reviewed study by researchers at the University of Texas that was the first attempt to measure actual emissions from gas drilling operations at 190 sites.

Measurements of gas emissions found that wells emitted ~20% less greenhouse gases than the EPA estimate.

The study also found that pneumatic switches used in wells leaked much more methane than previously believed, highlighting an area of needed improvement.

Companies cooperating in the project included Anadarko (APC), Chevron (CVX), Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Southwestern Energy (SWN) and Exxon’s (XOM) XTO Energy.