Articles | Volume 21, issue 9
Research article
03 May 2021
Research article |  | 03 May 2021

Concurrent variation in oil and gas methane emissions and oil price during the COVID-19 pandemic

David R. Lyon, Benjamin Hmiel, Ritesh Gautam, Mark Omara, Katherine A. Roberts, Zachary R. Barkley, Kenneth J. Davis, Natasha L. Miles, Vanessa C. Monteiro, Scott J. Richardson, Stephen Conley, Mackenzie L. Smith, Daniel J. Jacob, Lu Shen, Daniel J. Varon, Aijun Deng, Xander Rudelis, Nikhil Sharma, Kyle T. Story, Adam R. Brandt, Mary Kang, Eric A. Kort, Anthony J. Marchese, and Steven P. Hamburg

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Cited articles

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Allen, D. T., Torres, V. M., Thomas, J., Sullivan, D. W., Harrison, M., Hendler, A., Herndon, S. C., Kolb, C. E., Fraser, M. P., Hill, A. D., Lamb, B. K., Miskimins, J., Sawyer, R. F., and Seinfeld, J. H.: Measurements of methane emissions at natural gas production sites in the United States, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110, 17768–17773,, 2013. 
Alvarez, R. A., Pacala, S. W., Winebrake, J. J., Chameides, W. L., and Hamburg, S. P.: Greater focus needed on methane leakage from natural gas infrastructure, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 6435–6440,, 2012. 
Apituley, A., Pedergnana, M., Sneep, M., Veefkind, J. P., Loyola, D., and Hasekamp, O.: Sentinel-5 precursor/TROPOMI Level 2 Product User Manual, Methane, SRON, 2017. 
Short summary
The Permian Basin (USA) is the world’s largest oil field. We use tower- and aircraft-based approaches to measure how methane emissions in the Permian Basin changed throughout 2020. In early 2020, 3.3 % of the region’s gas was emitted; then in spring 2020, the loss rate temporarily dropped to 1.9 % as oil price crashed. We find this short-term reduction to be a result of reduced well development, less gas flaring, and fewer abnormal events despite minimal reductions in oil and gas production.
Final-revised paper