BLM issues final oil, gas waste prevention rule with reforms

September 19, 2018

The US Bureau of Land Management issued a final waste prevention, or venting and flaring, rule for oil and gas operations on land that it oversees. “Sadly, the flawed 2016 rule was a radical assertion of legal authority that stood in stark contrast to the longstanding understanding of Interior’s own lawyers,” Deputy Interior Sec. David Bernhardt said on Sept 18.

BLM reviewed the 2016 rule and found that it considerably overlapped existing state, tribal, and federal regulations, Bernhardt said. BLM also determined that the previous administration underestimated the 2016 rule’s costs. Comments on the new final rule will be accepted for 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register in the next few days.

Oil and gas trade associations welcomed the new rule. “We support smart, cost-effective BLM regulations that focus on prevention of waste and the conservation of resources,” American Petroleum Institute Upstream and Industry Operations Group Director Erik Milito said.

“As a result of continued industry innovation across the US oil and gas industry, methane emissions have plummeted 14% since 1990 during the same period that natural gas production has increased more than 50%,” Milito noted.

The Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Denver-based Western Energy Alliance jointly expressed their approval, noting that the new rule does not usurp air-quality authority, which Congress originally granted only to the states and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

“The Obama-era rule was crafted with an unrealistic understanding of the real impact to our member companies,” observed IPAA Pres. Barry Russell. “As environmental stewards and..."

See entire article at Oil & Gas Journal.

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