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Industry methane partnership drives nearly 50% reduction in average flare intensity

The Environmental Partnership has released its fourth annual report, highlighting the oil and gas industry’s efforts to reduce methane emissions and improve environmental performance. The 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.

Since launching in 2017, the partnership has quadrupled in size, now representing 100 companies that make up 70% of the US onshore oil and gas industry.

Highlights from the 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 US 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, 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.

“Reducing flare intensity by nearly 50% over the past year is just one way participating companies are acting to reduce emissions intensity,” said Cole Ramsey, Vice President of Upstream Policy at the American Petroleum Institute. “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.”

Click here to view the annual report.

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