The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Continuing to Reduce Methane Emissions Here on Earth

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 12, 2018

The Environmental Defense Fund’s plan to send up a satellite in two or three years to monitor methane emissions on  earth from space generated headlines (some of the coverage here and here) and at some point can add to the knowledge base useful in advancing emissions goals.

While EDF prepares for orbit, on terra firma our industry continues to use state-of-the-science technologies to reduce methane emissions from natural gas systems. With success: Emissions decreased 16.3 percent between 1990 and 2015, even as production increased nearly 52 percent:

NG_output_methane_reductions

This is a terrific, ongoing story that sometimes can get lost in the daily back and forth over who’s doing what on climate: Industry reducing emissions while also producing a natural gas abundance that benefits consumers, manufacturers and the environment, taking a lead role in reducing carbon dioxide levels to 25-year lows.

Natural gas is what we do, and under federal and state oversight, our companies are constantly developing and advanced technologies to capture as much natural gas as possible to deliver to customers. These technologies also allow everyone to get a better fix on the sources of methane emissions, the majority of which come from livestock, wetlands and landfills, according to EPA.

In addition, close to three dozen natural gas and oil companies now have joined with The Environmental Partnership – committing to improve environmental performance through collaboration and shared knowledge.

The partnership’s initial focus is further reducing methane emissions – through the upgrading of equipment, the timely repair of leaks using enhanced detection and improved procedures – in areas identified by EPA as leading sources of industry-related emissions. This includes using optical gas imaging cameras to spot leaks and replacing, removing and retrofitting certain types of pneumatic controllers with new and improved designs. Vicki Hollub, Occidential Petroleum president and CEO:

“Our participation in The Environmental Partnership is an extension of Occidental’s continuing commitment to conducting its business in a manner that protects the health and safety of people and the environment at its facilities and in the communities where we operate.”

Industry is committed to improved environmental performance and continuously reducing its emissions – for the good of our workers, our communities and the world in which we all live.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.