27 Sep '11, 6pm

Oil drilling wastes 100 million cubic feet of natural gas a day

Oil drilling wastes 100 million cubic feet of natural gas a day

Every day, oil companies burn 100 million cubic feet of natural gas -- not to power anything, but just because it's not oil and they don't need it. According to The New York Times , the North Dakota landscape is full of will-o-the-wisp plumes of fire where natural gas is burning off. The burning of "waste" gas in North Dakota releases at least 2 million tons of CO2 every year, as much as a medium-sized coal power plant. And believe it or not, this isn't the worst option for what to do with this gas (though it isn't the best, either). Capturing and reselling it would be cleanest, but natural gas isn't expensive enough to provide a good economic incentive (which is the only kind of incentive that matters to oil companies). But burning it is at least better than venting it back into the air. In other words, oil drilling is so destructive that in the grand scheme of things, se...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-09-27-oil-drilling-wastes-...

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