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The U.S. Shale Drillers Flaring the Most Natural Gas in Texas – See Who They Are


By Kevin Crowley and Rachel Adams-Heard

Word Count: 375
(Bloomberg) —Who burns off the most gas in the Lone Star state’s giant oil basins?It’s not such an easy answer, according to Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton, who released a report on flaring Tuesday amid backlash that the agency isn’t doing enough to curb the practice. In the report, Sitton spells out different ways to measure flaring but contends that any meaningful reduction will likely have a profound impact on oil production.The most obvious way of measuring flaring is simply by the amount of natural gas burned off.

Most gas flared by volume

Thousand cubic feet per day
XTO Energy (Exxon) 23,350
Diamondback 20,184
Endeavor Energy 18,727
Encana 15,399
EP Energy 15,360

But Sitton, a Republican whose seat is up for re-election, argues this is “incomplete” because it fails to acknowledge the amount of oil produced. (Typically gas is a byproduct of crude, so the more oil produced, the more gas also comes to the surface.) The commissioner, therefore, came up with two other measures:

The first is flaring intensity, which takes into account the amount of oil produced.

Highest flaring intensity

Thousand cubic feet per barrel of oil
Continental Trend Resources 2.93
Siltstone Resources 2.83
Mammoth Exploration 2.13
AMAC Energy 2
Atlantic Operating 1.97

And the second is flaring relative to a benchmark, which he set at 100 cubic feet per barrel of oil, around the state’s average.

Worst performers relative to benchmark

Thousand cubic feet per day over benchmark
EP Energy 10,602
Endeavor Energy 9,971
Surge Operating 8,589
Jagged Peak 7,805
Primexx Operating 7,117

Best performers relative to benchmark

Thousand cubic feet per day under benchmark
Pioneer Natural Resources 28,295
EOG Resources 26,194
Burlington Resources (Conoco) 11,805
Chesapeake 11,766
COG Operating (Concho) 9,631

However the regulator ultimately decides to measure flaring, the practice is increasingly coming into the spotlight.

“The primary message of yesterday’s report on natural gas flaring from the Texas Railroad Commission was that precipitous regulation should be avoided because the state’s shale operations already flare less than competing regions,” analysts led by Ben Salisbury at Washington-based Height Securities LLC said in a note Wednesday. Nevertheless, “we believe the effort marks acknowledgment that something should be done to reduce flaring and sets the bar for future evaluation and control.”



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