[CNBC] The Environmental Protection Agency proposed regulations on Tuesday aimed at cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent over the next decade from 2012 levels.
The rules would apply to new or modified sources of oil and natural gas and require energy companies to find and repair leaks, capture natural gas during the completion of hydraulically fractured wells, and limit emissions from pneumatic pumps and several other types of equipment.
Fracking is the process of pumping oil and sand, as well as some chemicals, into wells to break up shale rock and release hydrocarbons.
Fadel Gheit, senior energy analyst at Oppenheimer, said the cost of regulations would not have a significant impact on most oil and gas exploration and production companies, but acknowledged the timing is not ideal.
The cost of crude recently fell to a nearly 6½-year low and natural gas is mired in a protracted slump, down 29 percent from last year. As a result, drillers have slashed spending and may see their ability to borrow reduced this fall…