The American Petroleum Institute has launched a voluntary program to cut methane and volatile organic compound emissions from oil and gas operations. The initiative applies to both existing and new facilities and will include participation by 26 companies when it goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
The Environmental Partnership’s first initiative focuses on furthering action to reduce air emissions associated with natural gas and oil production. Three separate environmental performance programs have been designed and include:
Leak Program for Natural Gas and Oil Production Sources: Participants will implement monitoring and timely repair of fugitive emissions at selected sites utilizing detection methods and technologies such as Method 21 or Optical Gas Imaging cameras.
Program to Replace, Remove or Retrofit High-Bleed Pneumatic Controllers: Participants will replace, remove or retrofit high-bleed pneumatic controllers with low- or zero-emitting devices.
Program for Manual Liquids Unloading for Natural Gas Production Sources: Participants will minimize emissions associated with the removal of liquids that can build up and restrict natural gas flow.
The industry has reduced methane emissions from natural gas production 16.3 percent from 1990-2015, while natural gas production increased 55 percent. In addition, partially due to greater natural gas use in electricity generation, U.S. carbon emissions from energy consumption in 2016 were at their lowest level since 1992.
Participants at launch include Anadarko, Apache, BHP, BP, Chesapeake Energy, Cabot Oil and Gas, Chevron, Cimarex Energy, ConocoPhillips, CrownQuest, Devon Energy, Encana, EOG Resources, Exxon Mobil subsidiary XTO Energy, Hess, Marathon Oil, Murphy Oil, Newfield, Noble Energy, Occidental Petroleum, Pioneer Natural Resources, Shell, Southwestern Energy, Statoil, TOTAL and Western Gas Partners.