U.S. Natural Gas Partnership Releases First Annual Report
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The Environmental Partnership Triples in Size in First Year, Deploying New Technologies to Reduce Methane Emissions
WASHINGTON, July 30, 2019 – The Environmental Partnership, an initiative of America’s natural gas and oil producers, today released its first annual report which highlights the industry’s progress in reducing emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The report contains updates on The Environmental Partnership’s three performance programs, as well as its growth from just over 20 participants at launch to now 65 participating natural gas and oil companies, representing more than 80 percent of the top natural gas producers in the United States.
“Our industry is taking action to reduce methane emissions from our operations,” said Mike Sommers, API President and CEO. “Through innovative and action-oriented partnerships like this one, we will continue to take action to protect our environment and safely produce and deliver the energy consumers demand. The Environmental Partnership places technological innovation, collaboration with academia, engineers and manufacturers, and industry action at the heart of its mission and we’re proud of its tremendous progress and activity in its first year.”
America’s production basins are a telling example of how industry actions are resulting in environmental progress. U.S. methane emissions relative to total production in basins throughout the nation are down while production has increased dramatically and the U.S. is leading the world in producing natural gas and oil. In the Permian basin, energy production grew 100 percent from 2011 – 2017, while methane emissions relative to production fell nearly 40 percent. In the Eagle Ford basin, production grew 130 percent over the same time period, and methane emissions relative to production fell nearly 70 percent.
At its launch in 2017, The Environmental Partnership announced three performance programs for participants to implement and phase into their operations by January 1, 2018. Companies monitored their work throughout the year, and reported their 2018 data to The Environmental Partnership earlier this year:
- Implementing Leak Detection and Repair Program: In total, more than 156,000 surveys were conducted across more than 78,000 production sites. The surveys found that only 0.16% of participant components were in need of repair—ten times lower than EPA’s estimated 1.4% leak rate, and 99% of these were repaired within 60 days.
- Replacing Pneumatic Controller Program: More than 31,000 high bleed pneumatic controllers have been replaced, retrofitted, or removed from service by the companies participating in the program. Notably, 38 participating companies no longer employ any high bleed pneumatic controllers in their operations as innovative technologies and newer infrastructure is in place.
- Increased Monitoring: Through The Environmental Partnership’s Manual Liquids Unloading Program, more than 132,000 manual liquids unloading events were monitored in 2018; helping to minimize emissions associated with the removal of liquids and increase the efficiency of each well.
“This data collected from The Environmental Partnership – from the majority of the largest natural gas producers in the U.S. – underscores the industry’s commitment to tracking our progress and ensuring that our work together is reducing our emissions,” said Vanessa Ryan, Senior Advisor with Chevron and Program Chair for The Environmental Partnership.
“The Environmental Partnership is now a model that can be applied to meet other challenges in the future,” said Matthew Todd, Program Director for The Environmental Partnership. “The Environmental Partnership has more than doubled in participant size and this growth is a testament to industry’s commitment to its mission, its effective approach, valuable industry workshops, and information sharing and collaboration on technologies and techniques to reduce the industry’s environmental impacts.”
In 2018, The Environmental Partnership hosted several workshops and conferences across three of the United States’ largest natural gas basins. At these meetings, participants learned about best practices, advanced technologies and collaborated with industry experts, regulators, researchers and academics on the innovative ways to develop and manage their own environmental programs.
To view the annual report and more information about the program and companies’ commitments, visit www.TheEnvironmentalPartnership.org.
API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 47 million Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In its first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.