U.S. Gulf of Mexico Oil Production Leads with Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions Intensity

U.S. Gulf of Mexico Oil Production Leads with Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions Intensity

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) released a comprehensive study on global oil production emissions completed by ICF, the GHG Emission Intensity of Crude Oil and Condensate Production.

The report reveals that the greenhouse gas intensity of U.S. oil production, particularly in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, is significantly lower compared to most other regions around the world.

  • Total U.S. oil production has a carbon intensity 23% lower than the international average outside of the U.S. and Canada.
  • The U.S. Gulf of Mexico has a carbon intensity 46% lower than the global average outside of the U.S. and Canada, outperforming other nations like Russia, China, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria.
  • Using the largest crude category from the Gulf of Mexico (API Gravity 37.5), instead of similar crudes from outside the U.S. and Canada, could result in a 50% reduction in the average international carbon intensity.
  • The report includes a sensitivity analysis of global methane emissions, indicating that U.S. production, especially in the Gulf of Mexico, performs much better relative to the global average in terms of emissions intensity even when measured using other methane estimation methodologies.

This report highlights the record of the U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining a robust energy production system.

2 NOIA Milito photoErik Milito, NOIA President

NOIA President Erik Milito says, “The U.S. Gulf of Mexico energy production sets the standard for oil and gas production worldwide. The world needs both climate solutions and a growing amount of energy, and we don't have to choose between the two. Thanks to the remarkable efforts of the women and men producing energy in the Gulf of Mexico, we have an incredible source of reliable and responsibly produced energy. The Gulf of Mexico produces a massive amount of energy with a remarkably small footprint, and its continued success is critical for our energy security, national security, and energy affordability. This study validates the importance of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico as a source of energy with demonstrably lower carbon intensity barrels.”

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NOIA Report: the GHG Emission Intensity of Crude Oil and Condensate Production
NOIA Study One Pager

Study Methodology

The study was able to address many of the common shortcomings of similar studies by looking at virtually all the world’s oil production with a consistent scope and analytic method. The report includes:

  • The emission profiles of 103 countries plus the various U.S. and Canada producing regions as well as other country groupings, such as OPEC and OECD nations, are included in the report.
  • Analysis by type of hydrocarbon, including 13 separate API Gravity classifications.
  • Sensitivity analyses of methane emissions of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, total U.S., Canada, and the rest of the world is also included in the report.
  • ICF estimates separate GHGs from eight separate components of production:
    1. Drilling and completing wells and construction of production facilities
    2. Flaring and wellhead venting
    3. Leasing compression of natural gas
    4. Oil stabilization
    5. Storage tank fugitives
    6. Other methane emissions
    7. Electricity and natural gas for oil, water, and CO2 pumps and compressors
    8. Natural gas for steam

Learn more about the study and about Gulf of Mexico energy production here.


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