U.S. oil and gas producer ConocoPhillips withdrew a request to extend flaring permits at 41 of its sites in West Texas, saying it no longer needed them as operational improvements had reduced the need for flaring events.
ConocoPhillips continues to take steps to reduce flaring in Permian Basin’s Goldsmith area by improving operational procedures, including shut-ins, John Roper, director of the company’s media relations and crisis communications, told Reuters.
“These efforts have reduced the need for flaring events and eliminated the need to pursue the RRC (Railroad Commission of Texas) applications,” Roper added.
The RRC confirmed that ConocoPhillips had withdrawn its request in a letter dated Sept. 2.
In October, the company had applied for a two-year permit to cover unplanned flaring at its Goldsmith facilities.
A report by the Environmental Integrity Project, a non-profit organization, citing state records, said the 41 Conoco sites burned 1.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2018-2019, releasing more than 1,262 tons of sulfur dioxide.
Although companies have to apply for permits to burn unwanted gas, Texas currently allows producers to do so for six months and routinely issues waivers after the six months expires.