The greenhouse gas intensity of U.S. oil production, particularly in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, is significantly lower compared to most other regions around the world.

That’s according to a new National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) study on global oil production emissions completed by the ICF, which was described by a NOIA spokesperson as the first of its kind, apples to apples comparison of the greenhouse gas intensity of a barrel of oil between any two countries or regions of the world. 

The report outlined that total U.S. oil production has a carbon intensity 23 percent lower than the international average outside of the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. Gulf of Mexico has a carbon intensity 46 percent lower than the global average outside of the U.S. and Canada, outperforming other nations like Russia, China, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria, the report highlighted.

The report also revealed that using the largest crude category from the Gulf of Mexico (API Gravity 37.5), instead of similar crudes from outside the U.S. and Canada, could result in a 50 percent reduction in the average international carbon intensity.

“The U.S. Gulf of Mexico energy production sets the standard for oil and gas production worldwide,” NOIA President Erik Milito said in a company statement.

“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,” he added.

“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 U.S. Gulf of Mexico as a source of energy with demonstrably lower carbon intensity barrels,” Milito went on to state.

In a statement sent to Rigzone, NOIA noted that the study 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. NOIA highlighted that the report includes the emission profiles of 103 countries plus various U.S. and Canada producing regions.

Rigzone has asked the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) for comment on the study. At the time of writing, the IOGP has not yet responded to Rigzone’s request.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest short term energy outlook (STEO), which was released in May, projects that U.S. crude oil production will grow from 11.89 million barrels per day in 2022 to 12.53 million barrels per day in 2023 and 12.69 million barrels per day in 2024. U.S. crude oil production stood at 11.25 million barrels per day in 2021, the STEO highlighted.

The EIA’s previous STEO, which was released in April, saw U.S. crude oil production growing from 11.88 million barrels per day in 2022 to 12.54 million barrels per day in 2023 and 12.75 million barrels per day in 2024.

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