Report: US Gulf of Mexico production has lower GHGs than most other oil-producing regions

May 16, 2023
New analysis addresses many of the common shortcomings of similar studies, says NOIA.

Offshore staff

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) has released a comprehensive report on global oil production emissions completed by ICF, entitled the “GHG Emission Intensity of Crude Oil and Condensate Production.”

According to NOIA, the report reveals that the greenhouse gas intensity of US oil production, particularly in the US Gulf of Mexico, is significantly lower compared to most other regions around the world.

Some conclusions from the study:

  • Total US oil production has a carbon intensity 23% lower than the international average outside of the US and Canada.
  • The US Gulf of Mexico has a carbon intensity 46% lower than the global average outside of the US and Canada, outperforming other nations like Russia, China, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria.
  • Using the largest crude category from the Gulf of Mexico (API Gravity 37.5), instead of similar crudes from outside the US and Canada, could result in a 50% reduction in the average international carbon intensity.

The report includes a sensitivity analysis of global methane emissions, indicating that US production, especially in the Gulf of Mexico, performs much better relative to the global average in terms of emissions intensity even when measured using other methane estimation methodologies.

NOIA says that the report was able to address many of the common shortcomings of similar studies by looking at virtually all the world’s oil production with a consistent scope and analytic method. The report includes:

  • The emission profiles of 103 countries plus the various US and Canada producing regions as well as other country groupings, such as OPEC and OECD nations.
  • Analysis by type of hydrocarbon, including 13 separate API Gravity classifications.
  • Sensitivity analyses of methane emissions of the US Gulf of Mexico, total US, Canada, and the rest of the world.

NOIA President Erik Milito said: “The US Gulf of Mexico energy production sets the standard for oil and gas production worldwide. The world needs both climate solutions and a growing amount of energy, and we don’t have to choose between the two. Thanks to the remarkable efforts of the women and men producing energy in the Gulf of Mexico, we have an incredible source of reliable and responsibly produced energy. The Gulf of Mexico produces a massive amount of energy with a remarkably small footprint, and its continued success is critical for our energy security, national security, and energy affordability. This study validates the importance of the US Gulf of Mexico as a source of energy with demonstrably lower carbon intensity barrels.”