Methane Waste and Prevention Rule
In November of 2016, The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published its final rule that intended to limit the loss of methane through venting, flaring or leaks of natural gas from oil and gas production on public and Indian lands. Some provisions were to go into effect in January 2017 and others in January 2018. The BLM’s new rule postpones those provisions and suspends others already in effect until January 17, 2019. It will mean another year where taxpayers lose out on significant royalties from natural gas waste.
Designed to reduce natural gas waste, this rule would also achieve lower greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas production, while providing “a fair return on public resources for federal taxpayers” by requiring operators to pay royalties on wasted gas. The BLM estimates the rule could save enough methane to supply around 740,000 households each year.
By January 2019 deadline, the BLM intends to make substantial changes to the 2016 methane rule, curtailing its ability to reduce wasteful production practices on federal lands.