A report published by researchers at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) found that low-producing oil and gas wells are a major contributor to methane emissions from well sites in the Lower 48.

Low producing well methane emissions

The study, published in the Nature Communications journal, found that while these wells produce less than 15 boe/d, they account for about 50% of methane emitted from all oil and gas wells. 

Low-producing wells, or marginal wells, account for 6% of the United States’ oil and gas production, though they make up 80% of all oil and gas wells. 

There are about a half-million marginal wells in the Lower 48, with a majority located in Appalachia and the Permian Basin.

Low-producing wells release methane up to 12 times higher than the national average, according to the report. About 10%...