Natural Gas Wasted by Permian Basin Drillers Could Fuel a Few Texas Counties for Over 2 Years

The Permian Basin's largest oil drillers have been releasing or burning up as much as 9 percent of the natural gas they produced as a byproduct, according to a new report from the Environmental Defense Fund.The result has been greater air pollution, destruction of usable natural gas and more of the powerful greenhouse gas methane vented into the atmosphere. The fund, an advocacy group, and others have also warned that "flaring" — industry jargon for burning off natural gas — could threaten the McDonald Observatory in West Texas, which relies on having one of the nation's darkest night skies.The EDF research found that 45.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas was flared in 2015, "enough to serve all of the household needs in Texas Permian counties for 2 1/2 half years."  Continue reading...

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