Report: US Gulf of Mexico Oil Production Leads on GHG Intensity

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The US National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) has released a study on global oil production emissions that finds that the greenhouse gas intensity of US oil production, particularly in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, is significantly lower than most other regions around the world.

Prepared by ICF, the GHG Emission Intensity of Crude Oil and Condensate Production report, calculates that total US oil production has a carbon intensity 23% lower than the international average outside of the US and Canada. Additionally, the US Gulf of Mexico has a carbon intensity 46% lower than the global average outside of the US and Canada, outperforming other nations like Russia, China, Brazil, Iran, Iraq and Nigeria but not Saudi Arabia.

Using the largest crude category from the Gulf of Mexico (API Gravity 37.5), instead of similar crudes from outside the US 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 US 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.

NOIA President Erik Milito says, “The US 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 US Gulf of Mexico as a source of energy with demonstrably lower carbon intensity barrels.”

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 US and Canada producing regions as well as other country groupings, such as OPEC and OECD nations.

Categories: Offshore Production Gulf of Mexico Crude Oil Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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