U.S. Natural Gas Venting, Flaring Declined to 18-Year Low in 2023, EIA Reports

(Reuters) — The yearly amount of natural gas vented or flared in the U.S. decreased to 0.5% of gross withdrawals in 2023, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated on Thursday, based on preliminary state and federal data.

This percentage is estimated to be the lowest rate of venting and flaring recorded in 18 years, the EIA said.

Venting involves the direct release of natural gas into the atmosphere during oil and gas production and operations, while flaring is the combustion of gas.

Both emit some greenhouse gases along with some unburned methane into the atmosphere.

Methane can also leak from oil and gas installations, but leaks are not typically captured in the venting and flaring data reported, the EIA report added.

The amount of gas vented or flared can vary across regions due to difference in regulations and infrastructure constraints.

The rate of gas vented or flared in the U.S. has decreased from 1.3% in 2018 and 2019 to an estimated 0.5% in 2023, even production increased over the same period to a record average of 125.0 billion cubic feet per day in 2023, the report said.

The states with the most reported vented and flared natural gas are Texas, North Dakota, and Wyoming, the EIA said.

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