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US Study Confirms Rapid Increase of Methane Emissions by Oil and Gas

US Study Confirms Rapid Increase of Methane Emissions by Oil and Gas

Spike corresponds with timing of shale gas boom.

Another U.S. scientific study has confirmed that methane emissions from oil and gas activity are increasing more rapidly than previously estimated, and that these increases were happening at the same time that the North American shale gas boom and related fracking frenzy took off.

The latest study, one of several major scientific papers on growing global methane emissions published this past year, found that methane venting and leaks from oil and gas activity stabilized in the early 1980s and ‘90s and then dramatically escalated between 2000 and 2008.

“Overall fossil fuel emissions didn’t change a lot until 2000, and then it really ramps up,” reported Andrew Rice, a climate scientist at Portland State University.

Although the timing corresponds with the shale gas and fracking boom, the study did not identify shale gas sources or distinguish emissions from hydraulic fracturing in North America from other fugitive fossil fuel sources.

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