Natural Gas and Emissions Reduction

Natural Gas Compressor Stations and Safety Considerations
September 24, 2013
Natural Gas Transportation: A Change in Tide
October 30, 2013

Natural Gas and Emissions Reduction


Natural Gas Good for the Environment?

As an industry, we tout the environmental benefits of the use of natural gas in your home and in natural gas vehicles. We as an industry are also investing in production and distribution technologies that minimize greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, the private sector invests more than the U.S. Government to that end.

If the industry doesn’t maintain a vested interest in reduced emissions, we risk losing all the environmental benefits of the end use during the production phase.

According to the Energy Information Administration, emissions last year related to energy production were 13 percent below those at 2005, and the lowest in 20 years. Industry advocates attribute this to abundant and inexpensive natural gas and we’ll explain in further detail.

“Between 2000 and 2012, America’s oil and natural gas companies invested more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than the federal government and almost as much as all other industries combined,” Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute said.

To be specific, according to the Key Investments in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Technologies Study, North American oil and natural gas industry invested $81 billion (without shale gas investments) while the Federal Government invested under $80 billion.

Investments in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

While the industry overall seeks to provide a cleaner fuel source, we also work internally to improve technologies for cost efficiency and fewer emissions.

According to the study, the majority of investments were made towards the following initiatives, and while some of the investments aren’t necessarily with the end goal to reduce emissions, but rather are integral to the operations of the business, they are counted here as relevant because of the environmental benefits.

  • Better energy efficiency in production and distribution facilities.
  • Alternative energy sources: Shale gas production replaces the need for coal and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal does.
  • More efficient use of heat and power and advanced technology for vehicles.
  • Capture and store the CO2: Almost 45 billion was spent on technologies such as carbon capture and storage initiatives that relate to the end use of natural gas. This effectively captures the carbon dioxide produced by the plant sand storing it underground.
  • Reduce natural gas flaring – reduce this practice to stop the release of methane into the atmosphere.

Said Gerard, “We are energy companies, and our primary energy is oil and gas, . . . but we should never forget the ongoing investments being made to find that next great breakthrough,” he said. “We continue to improve our own emissions profile at the same time we are providing more and more energy for the nation and public.” Safe and reliable energy, responsibly produced is critical to modern life.

Snelson is proud to be part of the industry servicing that need.