EPA says greenhouse gas releases from wells, pipelines decline

October 1, 2014

The U.S. oil and gas sector reduced greenhouse gas emissions from well sites, pipelines and processing facilities last year despite the industry's continued growth, the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday.

Use of technology and improvements in hydraulic fracturing techniques in natural gas production led the way, accounting for a 73 percent decrease in methane released by that process since 2011, the EPA said.

The industry as a whole reduced methane emissions by 12 percent in two years, even as the number of sources reported to the government grew by 13 percent. Carbon dioxide emissions from the industry increased by 2.5 percent last year, but the methane reduction brought the overall number down by 1 percent.

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