The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, and DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) announced intent to fund efforts for the reduction of methane emissions from oil and gas sector. 

The intention is to provide up to $350 million in formula funding to states to assist industry “to voluntarily identify and permanently reduce” methane emissions from low-producing (marginal) conventional wells, according to the notice of intent issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and DOE.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy will partner to offer technical assistance to help companies monitor and reduce methane emissions from leaks and daily operations.

Through this combination of technical and financial assistance, the two authorities will help reduce inefficiencies of U.S. oil and gas operations, create new jobs in energy communities, and realize near-term emission reductions.

These funding opportunities are made possible by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

“The amount of methane emitted from oil and gas operations is enough to fuel millions of homes a year and is a major driver of the climate crisis,” said Joe Goffman, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “These programs will help minimize that waste, a benefit for nearby communities and businesses alike.”

These investments are expected to improve the economic competitiveness of small and medium-sized producers while reducing associated harmful air pollution, mitigating health effects in nearby communities, and creating jobs in energy communities.

States also will be able to use a portion of their award for environmental restoration and to invest in their monitoring capacity for low-producing conventional wells, which will improve their ability to identify sources of methane emissions and to effectively prioritize their mitigation.

NETL plans to issue the funding opportunity announcement later this summer.