Of 295 oil and natural gas producers with reported data, the top 100 oil and gas producers by total energy were responsible for nearly 80% of total reported methane and GHG emissions in 2019. While most top 100 producers are also among the top 100 emitters, production rank does not correspond to emissions rank.
Hydrocarbon production and associated GHG emissions are concentrated in a small number of basins. In 2019, the five largest basins by total oil and gas production were responsible for 66% of total reported natural gas production, 80% of total reported oil production, 51% of total reported methane emissions, and 78% of total reported CO2 emissions.
The methane emissions intensity of natural gas production and the GHG emissions intensity of oil and gas production varies dramatically across producers. Natural gas producers in the highest quartile of methane emissions intensity have an average emissions intensity that is nearly 22 times higher than natural gas producers in the lowest quartile of methane emissions intensity. Oil and gas producers in the highest quartile of GHG emissions intensity have an average emissions intensity that is nearly 10 times higher than oil and gas producers in the lowest quartile.
Pneumatic controllers were the largest source of total reported production-segment methane emissions, making up 54% of total reported methane emissions.
Fuel combustion equipment, such as engines and heaters, were the largest source of total reported production-segment CO2 emissions, responsible for 49% of total reported CO2 emissions.
In oil-heavy basins, associated gas venting and flaring can be a significant component of GHG emissions. In the Permian basin, for example, this source contributes 25% of total GHG emissions. In gas-heavy basins, associated gas is limited or non-existent; for example, there was no reported associated gas venting and flaring in the Appalachian basin.
Across all basins, associated gas venting and flaring was responsible for 19% of total reported production-segment GHG emissions. While the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program does not capture all GHG emissions from the oil and gas industry, the data reported to EPA provide a consistent methodology for estimating emissions and a valuable framework for comparing performance across companies.