Three Key Ways the Natural Gas and Oil Industry is Reducing Emissions
Posted September 10, 2021
This week, API detailed the latest on three important ways the natural gas and oil industry is reducing its emissions. The information can be found in The Environmental Partnership’s new annual report, which outlines more than 90 companies’ recent work to cut significant sources of natural gas and oil emissions.
Some highlights and key actions from the annual report:
- Reducing Flare Volumes – Participants in The Partnership’s new flare management program reported a 50% decrease in flare volumes associated with oilfield operations from 2019 to 2020 – even as their oil and natural production remained nearly constant (just a 3% decrease in oil production and a 3% increase in natural gas production).
- Detecting and Repairing Leaks – More than 430,000 surveys were performed across more than 85,000 production sites. Over more than 235 million component inspections, just 0.04% of components inspections required a repair – less than one in 2,000 component inspections.
- Replacing Pneumatic Controllers – More than 970 high-bleed controllers – identified by EPA as a key emissions source – were replaced, retrofitted or removed from service by participating companies.
Read here for additional news on The Partnership’s programs. Launched in 2018, the Partnership continues to serve as a model for action and best practices that reduce emissions while our industry supplies the affordable, reliable energy Americans demand each day. The Partnership’s annual report shows that even during a difficult economic period caused by the pandemic, our industry improved its environmental performance and innovated to further reduce emissions across the supply chain.
The flare management program has helped participating companies basically halve the gas flare intensity of their applicable operations from 3.04% in 2019 to 1.49% in 2020. More than 171,000,000 MCF of flare gas was avoided or diverted for beneficial uses – roughly equal to the typical winter heating season consumption of natural gas in the U.S. for 2.9 million homes. On pneumatic controllers, 54 participating companies no longer use the high-bleed devices in their operations. Meanwhile, The Partnership expanded its program to address emissions from all gas-driven controllers, leading to removal of more than 9,200 additional controllers and the installation of more than 2,700 zero-emission controllers.
The Partnership’s collaborative approach and its field-focused programs are the best way to reduce emissions without missing a beat on the energy our country needs and uses, and its rapid growth to more than 90 members demonstrates its reach is spreading across our industry.
API continues to be focused on working with Congress and the Biden Administration to achieve significant results, as outlined in API’s Climate Action Framework. The Environmental Partnership is a cornerstone of those efforts.
About The Author
Lem Smith is API’s vice president for Federal Relations. Lem joined API in February 2020 as vice president for Upstream Policy & Industry Operations. He previously served as a principal at Squire Patton Boggs, an international law and public-policy firm, where he advised private and public sector clients on federal and multi-state policy matters and provided counsel on communications strategies, campaign affairs and crises management. Previously, Lem was director, U.S. Government & Regulatory Affairs at Encana, and responsible for all aspects of U.S. government relations and regulatory policy matters at the state and federal levels. Prior to that, Lem was director of Government Relations for Kerr-McGee Corporation. Lem began his career on Capitol Hill, working for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker (Mississippi) and the late U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood (Georgia), where he negotiated key member priorities within the 2005 Energy Policy Act (EPAct). Lem is a graduate of the University of Mississippi.
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