As much as 84% of gas flaring performed by oil and gas drillers in the Permian Basin was done without permits, a new analysis from Earthworks reveals. “The oil and gas fields in Texas are just lawless,” Earthworks Senior Field Advocate and one of the report’s authors, Sharon Wilson succinctly told Reuters. The report, based on data from EDF flyovers and public data from the Texas Railroad Commission, found not just small producers, but oil majors including Exxon and Shell conducted multiple unpermitted flares.

“The gas is not what they’re after,” Wilson, a former oil company marketer herself, told Earther, adding that most companies are seeking more profitable oil. “It’s not worth their time and money because it costs more to transport the gas to market unless the price of gas is very high.” (Report: Reuters, Gizmodo, Politico Pro $, Houston Chronicle, Seeking Alpha, OilPrice, Grist; The Methane Hunters: Bloomberg $)