New Report: U.S. Gulf of Mexico Oil Production Leads with Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions Intensity

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Contact:  Justin Williams, (202) 465-8464,

New Report: U.S. Gulf of Mexico Oil Production Leads with Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions Intensity

Washington, D.C. – The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) released a comprehensive study on global oil production emissions completed by ICF, the GHG Emission Intensity of Crude Oil and Condensate Production. The report reveals that 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.

  • Total U.S. oil production has a carbon intensity 23% lower than the international average outside of the U.S. and Canada.
  • The U.S. Gulf of Mexico has a carbon intensity 46% lower than the global average outside of the U.S. and Canada, outperforming other nations like Russia, China, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria.
  • 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% reduction in the average international carbon intensity.
  • The report includes a sensitivity analysis of global methane emissions, indicating that U.S. production, especially in the Gulf of Mexico, performs much better relative to the global average in terms of emissions intensity even when measured using other methane estimation methodologies.

This report highlights the record of the U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining a robust energy production system.

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


About the Study
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. The report includes:

  • The emission profiles of 103 countries plus the various U.S. and Canada producing regions as well as other country groupings, such as OPEC and OECD nations, are included in the report.
  • Analysis by type of hydrocarbon, including 13 separate API Gravity classifications.
  • Sensitivity analyses of methane emissions of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, total U.S., Canada, and the rest of the world is also included in the report.
  • ICF estimates separate GHGs from eight separate components of production:
    1. Drilling and completing wells and construction of production facilities
    2. Flaring and wellhead venting
    3. Leasing compression of natural gas
    4. Oil stabilization
    5. Storage tank fugitives
    6. Other methane emissions
    7. Electricity and natural gas for oil, water, and CO2 pumps and compressors
    8. Natural gas for steam


About ICF
ICF is a global consulting services company with approximately 9,000 employees who combine deep subject matter expertise with leading-edge technologies and advanced analytics to design and implement transformative projects across highly diverse domains including public health, IT, disaster management, energy, climate, environment and infrastructure. Since 1969, public and private sector clients have worked with ICF to navigate change and solve their most complex challenges. Learn more at

ICF is a non-partisan, non-political company that delivers a broad and diverse range of independent, unbiased, objective analyses and related consulting services to help its clients meet their missions. This report may not be construed as ICF’s endorsement of any policy, regulatory, lobbying, legal, or other advocacy position or organization or political party. Any conclusions presented herein do not necessarily represent the policy or political views of ICF. ICF’s services do not constitute legal or tax advice.

Views of Individual NOIA Members. This Material has been issued by ICF and NOIA and not the individual members of NOIA. This Material does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the individual members of NOIA.

About NOIA
The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) represents and advances a dynamic and growing offshore energy industry, providing solutions that support communities and protect our workers, the public and our environment.

The offshore oil and gas industry continues to innovate and advance technologies and best practices to manage emissions. NOIA’s 2023 ESG Report – its third annual – showcases case studies in reducing emissions from 16 different companies. See here for the 2023 ESG Report.

National Ocean Industries Association
1120 G Street, NW • Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005

Phone: 202.347.6900 | Email: