A Wyoming federal court judge suspended the Bureau of Land Management’s controversial venting and flaring policy this week, dealing a setback to environmentalists who supported the Obama-era regulations intended to reduced natural gas waste emissions by extraction producers.
The policy, formally known as the Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation rule had been upheld by a federal judge in California in February.
The competing opinions will likely mean the matter will be appealed.
The rule was intended to regulate the release of methane and other gasses during extraction activities to reduce the amount vented into the atmosphere or burned off through the flaring process.
If enforced, it would require oil and gas producers to capture more of the gas instead of releasing it, which opponents argue would increase costs through additional infrastructure, leak prevention, and administrative reporting to the Department of Interior.
The suspension was first implemented in December 2017 by the U.S. Department of Interior, which oversees the BLM.
Compiled and Published by GIB KNIGHT
Gib Knight is a private oil and gas investor and consultant, providing clients advanced analytics and building innovative visual business intelligence solutions to visualize the results, across a broad spectrum of regulatory filings and production data in Oklahoma and Texas. He is the founder of OklahomaMinerals.com, an online resource designed for mineral owners in Oklahoma.