Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the domestic oil and natural gas industry declined by more than 48 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2007 and 2008, a reduction comparable to taking 9.7 million cars off the roads, according to the results of a new study sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute (API).

An industry-wide investment of more than $58 billion in low-carbon technologies between 2000 and 2008 was cited as a major factor in contributing to the reduction in GHG emissions, said the API study.

The new study — Emission Reductions Associated with U.S. Oil and Gas Industry Investments in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Technologies — was conducted by T2 and Associates, an energy consulting firm.

It reported that the emission reductions fell into three categories, including:

In addition to the low-carbon technology investments, the study found that other factors contributed to the GHG emission drop, including lower petroleum product demand due to higher prices and a slowing economy.

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