08/23/2012 12:41 pm ET

Less Methane In The Air Thanks To Leakage Control, Study Says

Now a team of atmospheric chemists, writing a report in Nature that was released Wednesday, have solved that riddle: there’s a lot less methane leaking from oil and gas wells than there used to be. Methane is a major component of natural gas, and, said lead author Isobel Simpson, of the University of California-Irvine, in an interview, “as natural gas has become more valuable, it’s being captured rather than vented or flared.”

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