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Industry Methane Partnership Drives Nearly 50% Reduction in Average Flare Intensity

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The Environmental Partnership Annual Report Shows Increased Industry Participation, Accelerated Progress Across All Six Environmental Performance Programs

WASHINGTON, September 27, 2022 – The Environmental Partnership today released its fourth annual report highlighting the industry’s efforts to reduce methane emissions and improve environmental performance across the natural gas and oil industry. The new report revealed continued progress across all six environmental performance programs – including reducing flaring, replacing gas-driven pneumatic controllers with low- or zero-emitting devices and reducing leak occurrence rates to 0.05% among the nearly 100,000 sites surveyed – even as the program continued to grow its participation.

Since launching in 2017, The Partnership has quadrupled in size, now representing 100 companies that make up 70% of the U.S. onshore natural gas and oil industry, reflecting the growing commitment to driving innovation, sharing best practices and increasing transparency to reduce methane emissions in every major U.S. basin.

“The Environmental Partnership’s ability to bring together 100 companies with the shared goal of improving environmental performance demonstrates the commitment of this industry to tackle the climate challenge head-on,” said Cole Ramsey, vice president of upstream policy at the American Petroleum Institute. “Reducing flare intensity by nearly 50% over the past year is just one way participating companies are acting to reduce emissions intensity. Much of the growth we are seeing is driven by industry taking action to employ cutting-edge technologies, including remote monitoring with satellites, laser-based aerial surveys and continuous monitoring to detect and reduce methane emissions.”

“As The Environmental Partnership has grown, so has the community of participants upon which we rely, and we continue to be thankful for the many women and men who are working every day to reliably power our lives while reducing environmental impacts,” said Vanessa Ryan, chair of The Environmental Partnership and manager of carbon and climate policy for Chevron. “We look forward to what the next five years will bring and are confident that the industry will meet tomorrow’s challenges.”

“The Environmental Partnership has been, and will continue to be, integral to developing energy and environmental solutions, and we are proud of how the program has grown, both in size of our participating companies and in the scope of our mission,” said Matthew Todd, director of The Environmental Partnership. “As our industry continues to drive solutions to better detect and reduce methane emissions, The Environmental Partnership will continue to serve as a springboard to advance technological innovation, cultivate best practices and take action to improve our environmental performance.”

Highlights from the annual report include:

  • Reducing Flaring: In 2021, there was a 45% reduction in flare intensity and a 26% reduction in total flare volumes from the previous year, even as the number of companies participating in the flare management program grew by 40%. These companies now represent 62% and 40% of total U.S. oil and natural gas production, respectively. 
  • Replacing Pneumatic Controllers: Since the program started in 2017, more than 10,000 zero-emissions controllers have been installed and more than 51,000 gas-driven controllers have been replaced. In 2021, more than 4,500 zero-emission pneumatic controllers were installed at new sites and more than 22,400 gas-driven pneumatic controllers and 1,700 high-bleed devices were replaced or removed from service.
  • Detecting and Repairing Leaks: In 2021, The Environmental Partnership participating companies performed more than 345 million component inspections. The program performed more than 460,000 surveys over more than 90,000 sites and found a leak occurrence rate of 0.05%, or less than 1 component leaking in 2,000, among sites surveyed.

Click here to view the annual report and more information about participating companies’ efforts and commitments. 

API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than 11 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our approximately 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence®, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 800 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.


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