The US natural gas and oil industry has announced a landmark partnership to accelerate improvements to environmental performance in operations across the country. Focused initially on reducing methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, the environmental partnership includes 26 natural gas and oil producers, who produce a significant portion of American energy resources. Participating companies will begin implementing the voluntary programme on 1 January 2018.
At the time of launch, the participating companies represent operations in every major US natural gas and oil basin. The partnership is a historic agreement bringing together American natural gas and oil companies of all sizes to take action, learn and collaborate in an effort to further improve our environmental performance.
Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), said: “US methane emissions have fallen over the past decade as domestic natural gas and oil production has increased significantly due to the industry’s technology innovation and efforts to increase efficiencies. The partnership seeks to accelerate emissions reductions and we’re headed in the right direction.”
The environmental partnership’s first initiative is focused on furthering action to reduce air emissions, including methane and VOCs, that are associated with natural gas and oil production. To accomplish this, the partnership has developed three separate Environmental Performance Programs for participating companies to implement and phase into their operations in 2018.
The three programmes include:
- A leak programme for natural gas and oil production sources: participants will implement monitoring and timely repair of fugitive emissions at selected sites utilising detection methods and technologies such as Method 21 or optical gas imaging cameras.
- A programme 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.
- A programme for manual liquids unloading for natural gas production sources: participants will minimise emissions associated with the removal of liquids that, as a well ages, can build up and restrict natural gas flow. In addition to its programs, the environmental partnership will provide a platform for industry to collaborate with stakeholders and learn from one another.