One of the largest oil producers in the US shale plays has stopped routine gas flaring in Permian. He plans to encourage all other shale operator to do the same.
Exxon officials stated that they would insist upon stricter flaring regulations to ensure the elimination of this practice in a conversation with Reuters.
Matt Kolesar (chief environmental scientist at the supermajor), stated that it “levels the playing field.” We need strong regulations to make sure it doesn’t matter who has the facility.
Because of the potential release of large amounts of methane (a greenhouse compound that is more potent than carbon dioxide but has a shorter life span), flaring has been a major environmental concern in recent years.
Flaring can be reduced, which increases the natural gas produced by an operator. This is a significant benefit in today’s market.
Exxon says that ending flaring is a worthwhile goal. It’s worth more than having oil companies pay for the emission from the use of their products, the so-called Scope 3 emissions. Kolesar stated to Reuters that reducing methane emissions was the best and most cost-effective way to reduce overall industry emissions.
The supermajor has plans to deploy satellites that track Permian emissions to accomplish this. It also invested in directing methane-emitting associate gas from oil production in the Permian to an underground pipeline.
Exxon will spend $17 billion to reduce its emissions by 2027. This money will be used to stop flaring, carbon capture and storage, and other things. This plan is not supported by environmentalists because it does not envision a decrease in oil and gas production.