Gas flaring, especially in the Permian and the Eagle Ford, is coming in hot these days at the Texas Railroad Commission. Presented here are viewpoints from several stakeholders in the discussion. My comments are summaries. For a fuller understanding please read the reports for yourself.
The players are in general agreement on several points:
- There needs to be an end to routine gas flaring.
- Texas flares a lot of gas: About as much annually as all of its residential users combined, or maybe as much as the seven largest cities, or maybe Houston. It depends on who’s talking. Values vary but in the Permian it ranges from $450 Million to $750 Million.
- Progress is being made, plenty for some, not enough for others.
The Texas Methane and Flaring Coalition
These seven trade associations and 40 operators are members of the Railroad Commission’s Blue Ribbon Task Force for Oil Economic Recovery. Their positon, among others:
- More detailed data submissions from operators will result in more effective operational and regulatory decisions that will reduce flaring.
- A proposed flaring matrix (see the report) identifies situations where flaring is necessary and makes recommendations for the application of Rule 32 that will result in overall flaring reductions because of the shortened time frame for administrative approvals.
- Methane emissions from oil and gas systems are down 23 percent since 1990.
- Texas flaring intensity is well below that of comparable countries according to the World Bank.