Texas Producers Make Leaps in Emissions Reductions, Innovations to continue

Fri, April 22, 2022

Texans are proud of the land they grew up on and even prouder of our ability to meet our nations and the world’s energy demand. Thanks to the innovations and technologies heralded by the oil and gas industry in the Lone Star state, we’ve been able to protect our cherished land while remaining a top energy producing state. Texas producers have proudly stepped up and dedicated themselves to the conservation and restoration of our land and climate while steadily supplying the world with energy.

Texas producers lead in methane emission and flaring reductions

Thanks to the Shale Revolution and the fracking technologies that ushered it in, the United States has become a world leader in energy, and Texas has been its strongest pillar in not only production, but reductions in flaring and emissions as well. Nationally, emissions from energy production declined between 1990 and 2020. Greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector decreased more than 23 percent from 2005 to 2020 – the same time period in which the U.S. witnessed the Shale Revolution. In Texas, only a small fraction of the natural gas that is produced is vented or flared, despite the Permian Basin being one of the largest producing areas of the country.

In fact, methane intensity was down nearly 70 percent  in the Permian Basin from 2011 to 2020 while total oil and gas production rose by more than 320 percent. Notably, flaring intensity among oil and natural gas producers decreased 71 percent across Texas from June 2019 to May 2021 as well.

The success in reducing emissions intensity – while increasing output – proved to the wider oil and gas industry that low carbon fossil fuels were possible, resulting in further investment into new technologies. To continue on this positive trajectory, Texas producers made serious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimize flaring by committing to initiatives like the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 and the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which aims for net zero operations among producers. The energy industry is eager to continue meeting these goals and creating other purposeful initiatives to establish industry best practices for emissions reductions.  

Texas is a key market for future energy innovation

Carbon capture and storage technologies have been making strides in Texas. Blessed with an entrepreneurial and business friendly economy, geological storage potential, energy investments and successful production, Texas is a key market for the deployment of CCUS technology.

Honeywell is taking note and is working with researchers at the University of Texas at Austin to commercialize carbon capture technology created in the Lone Star state. Honeywell plans to scale the technology and apply it around the world, particularly in areas with heavy industrial processes, where it would inhibit carbon from reaching the atmosphere.

Developments in carbon capture in Texas could boost Texas infrastructure, with the addition of sequestration facilities, pipelines and wider networks of researchers and cutting-edge technologies.

Looking ahead

While Texas producers recognize there is still more work to be done, the success in reducing methane emissions and flaring is a major step toward reaching low-carbon fossil fuels. EIA estimates natural gas consumption and production will only increase in the coming years, strengthening the focus and commitment of Texas producers to solve emissions challenges through continued innovation.

The boosts in production, while successfully reducing emissions and flaring, highlight the innovative work of the oil and gas industry in Texas. Finding solutions to the energy industry’s most complex problems is an evident marker of success as experts study possible solutions for future global emissions reductions amid the world’s growing populations and increased development.