API: U.S. oil, natural gas industry reduces methane emissions across supply chain
(WO) – The Environmental Partnership released its fifth annual report demonstrating the U.S. oil and natural gas industry’s actions in reducing methane emissions, improving detection methods and sharing best practices across the industry. The Partnership’s participating companies, which represent nearly 70% of U.S. onshore oil and gas operations, continued to achieve measurable results across all performance programs, including replacing gas-driven pneumatic controllers with low- or zero-emitting devices, reducing leak occurrence rates and driving flare intensity down by 2.4%, even as oil and natural gas production increased by 5.6% and 4% over the past year.
“In my first year leading The Partnership, this industry has taken on new challenges and new opportunities to improve our environmental performance, and I am proud of how The Partnership and our participating companies continue to meet the challenge of reducing methane emissions across the supply chain,” said Emily Hague, director of The Environmental Partnership. “Through innovative facility design, improvements in operational practices and procedures, advancements in detecting and measuring emissions and improved accuracy in data emissions reporting, we are achieving meaningful results, helping to ensure the continued production of affordable, reliable and cleaner energy for decades to come.”
Highlights from the annual report include:
Replacing pneumatic controllers: Since the program started in 2018, more than 14,100 zero-emissions controllers have been installed and more than 114,000 gas-driven controllers have been replaced. In 2022, more than 4,000 zero-emission pneumatic controllers were installed at new sites and more than 61,700 gas-driven pneumatic controllers and 700 high-bleed devices were replaced or removed from service. More than 60% of participating companies no longer have high-bleed pneumatic controllers in their operations.
Reducing flaring: In 2022, there was a 14% reduction in total flare volumes and a 2.4% in flare intensity from the previous year.
Detecting and repairing leaks: In 2022, The Environmental Partnership participating companies performed more than 202 million component inspections. Participants in the program performed more than 664,000 surveys over more than 157,000 sites and found a leak occurrence rate of 0.07%, or less than 1 component leaking in 1,000, among sites surveyed. Since 2019, participating companies have performed more than 903 million component inspections.
In addition to the six existing programs, The Partnership also announced its expansion to liquid pipelines with the addition of two new programs: Maintenance & Integrity and Energy Efficiencies in Operations. Through these programs, companies will implement best practices that reduce energy consumption and improve integrity and maintenance programs to reduce emissions across the supply chain.