The U.S. Natural Gas Advantage

August 15, 2018: The U.S. Natural Gas Advantage

Forbes recently published an article in which the author discusses the advantages that the U.S. natural gas supply has over Russia’s gas supply based on lower methane emissions rates from U.S. gas. The author states that Gazprom’s system has a leak rate of 5-7%, though admits that emissions are not being fully accounted for so it could be higher, while the U.S. rate, depending on the source, ranges from 2.6% to 1.5%.

Based on just the emissions rate it is obvious that the U.S. gas supply has a distinct advantage. While I agree with this advantage, the author goes on to criticize the Trump Administration and industry for attempting to undermine the methane regulations that give the industry this advantage and I couldn’t disagree more.

ONE Future members are working diligently to further reduce methane emissions using our voluntary, performance-based protocol developed in conjunction with the EPA. While there are no LNG exporters that are members of ONE Future currently, ONE Future production sector members produce approximately 10% of the U.S. natural gas.

I firmly believe that a voluntary, performance-based approach is superior to a regulatory, one-size fits all approach because it is more cost effective and most importantly it works. We are seeing investment funds and banks push for reducing emissions and I believe we may soon see end-use customers push for the same thing here in the U.S.

While I am no expert on emissions issues in Europe, it is clear that the U.S. has an emissions rate advantage over natural gas supplies worldwide. I believe that the advantage stems largely from the work that industry organizations, like ONE Future, are doing on their own to reduce emissions, recognizing the importance of it not only from an environmental standpoint, but from a safety, investment and customer standpoint as well.

Richard Hyde, Executive Director