Draft Emissions Inventory Shows U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Methane Emissions Continue to Decline

Methane emissions continue to decrease in the United States, according to data in the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2023 draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (GHGI).

Even as the industry sets production records, methane emissions from petroleum and natural gas systems have continued their downward trend –nearly 9 percent since 2005 and 4 percent since 2020 – and have decreased by more than 13 percent since 1990.

Methane emissions from natural gas systems decreased year-over-year, continuing a long-term decline trend which EPA explains is “largely due to a decrease in emissions from distribution, transmission and storage, processing, and exploration”:

“The decrease in distribution is largely due to decreased emissions from pipelines and distribution station leaks, and the decrease in transmission and storage emissions is largely due to reduced compressor station emissions (including emissions from compressors and leaks).”

The report showed individual system numbers also fell in each category of greenhouse gasses despite record growth.


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