Shale and Conventional Oil Have Similar Levels of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: 2 Studies

Energy Intensity and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Crude Oil Production in the Eagle Ford Region: Input Data and Analysis Methods
Energy Intensity and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Crude Oil Production in the Bakken Formation: Input Data and Analysis Methods
US DOE, Argonne National Laboratory

[From Press Release] The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory this week released a pair of studies on the efficiency of shale oil production excavation. The reports show that shale oil production generates greenhouse gas emissions at levels similar to traditional crude oil production.

The research, which was conducted in collaboration with Stanford University and the University of California, Davis (UC-Davis), analyzed the Eagle Ford shale formation (also called a play) in Texas and the Bakken play mainly in North Dakota. These plays are shale formations with low permeability and must be hydraulically fractured to produce oil and gas…

Both studies showed that after taking into consideration flaring and venting of natural gas, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with shale/tight oil production are similar to those generated at conventional crude oil reserves. This emission intensity stays consistent during the lifespan of extraction at the oil play. This contradicts an earlier estimate that the Bakken play might produce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent higher more than for crude oil production…

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