Satellite images show methane leakage from Permian basin oil fields, fueling climate change


Oil and gas operations at Permian Basin, the largest oil producing region in the United States, emit more than twice as much methane into the atmosphere as previously thought – enough energy wasted to fuel 7 million of homes in Texas for a year. This is the result of a new study by researchers from Harvard University and the Environmental Defense Fund.

The Permian Basin extends 250 miles by 250 miles in west Texas and southeast New Mexico, and accounts for more than a third of crude oil and 10% of natural gas in the United States.

The study, published this week in the journal Science Advances, also found that the methane leakage rate represents 3.7% of all gas extracted in the basin, about 60% more than the national average leakage rate. . Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and since the Permian basin is so large, this excess waste is an important contribution to our already warm climate.


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