The Biden administration announced plans Friday to tighten regulations against methane emissions from domestic oil and gas drilling, including requirements for drillers to fix all leaks, not just the biggest.
The new measures were unveiled at the United Nations’ COP27 conference in Egypt, where President Biden sought to re-establish the U.S. as “a trustworthy, committed, global leader on climate,” following its exit from the Paris climate agreement under former president Trump.
The rules also would force methane emissions reductions from flaring equipment and create a system to detect the leaks from “super-emitter” sites quickly so operators can repair them faster and advise local community residents.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the proposed standards would cut methane from the oil and gas sector by 87% from 2005 levels; the agency will take public input on the rules until February 13 and expects to finalize it by the end of 2023.
Crude oil prices posted a loss for the week, with Nymex crude (CL1:COM) for December delivery -3.9% to $88.96/bbl and January Brent crude (CO1:COM) -2.6% to $95.99/bbl this week.
But crude climbed on Friday after China eased some of its strict COVID-19 rules, and energy (NYSEARCA:XLE) was the day’s top performer among the 11 S&P 500 sectors, closing out a fourth straight week of gains.
Top 10 gainers in energy and natural resources during the past 5 days: (MUX) +41.2%, (NINE) +39.3%, (FLUX) +37.6%, (GFI) +33.7%, (TUSK) +30.2%, (CENX) +30.2%, (UROY) +24.8%, (KWR) +23.5%, (SILV) +23.1%, (AU) +22.9%.
Top 5 decliners in energy and natural resources during the past 5 days: (GTLS) -39.5%, (PEGY) -19.2%, (GNE) -18.7%, (EBR) -17.6%, (AQN) -15.9%.