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The Environmental Partnership launches new program to reduce flaring

The Environmental Partnership announced the launch of its latest performance program, which is focused on reducing flaring in upstream operations. The flare management program expands on The Environmental Partnership’s core mission — which recently added midstream operations and represents over 70% of total onshore US oil and natural gas production — to share information on best practices, advance new and proven technologies, foster collaboration to reduce emissions and collect data to inform efforts to minimize flaring.

“Despite the challenges this year, The Environmental Partnership continues to grow and advance innovative solutions for a cleaner future,” said Matthew Todd, Director for The Environmental Partnership. “This commitment to reduce flaring builds on the industry’s progress in reducing methane emissions and is the latest example of how companies are constantly innovating to improve environmental performance while delivering affordable, reliable energy around the world.”

As part of the new program, companies will advance best practices to reduce flare volumes, promote the beneficial use of associated gas, and improve flare reliability and efficiency when flaring does occur. Flaring is typically used when there is a lack of gas gathering lines or processing capacity, during facility or gathering maintenance, or during unplanned events for safety measures to alleviate pressure. In these instances, flaring is the safer environmental option. Rather than venting the gas into the air, flaring burns the gas, which releases fewer greenhouse gases than venting.

“While US operators have proven it’s possible to increase production while also reducing flaring, our participating companies share the community, shareholder, regulatory, and environmental perspective that flaring must be reduced,” said Vanessa Ryan, Manager of the Carbon Reduction Team at Chevron and Chair of The Environmental Partnership.

To gauge progress from year to year, participants of the Flare Management Program have committed to report data to calculate flare intensity, a measurement of flare volumes relative to production. The program will analyze and aggregate this data for its annual report and utilize the insights from the participant’s combined actions and reporting to better understand and identify additional opportunities for the industry to further reduce flaring.

“This new Flare Management Program is another tool that will deliver invaluable data to better understand the cause, our progress, and inform the future actions needed to minimize flaring,” said Mike Smith, EHS professional at Devon Energy, and lead for the flare reduction effort.

The Environmental Partnership’s more than 80 members include large and small operators in every major US oil and gas basin committed to reducing emissions across the nation’s production and transmission segments. Thanks to the work of its members, the initiative has a strong record of building on proven industry actions that reduce emissions – including those that have helped reduce methane emission rates relative to production by nearly 70% in the largest producing US regions, even as production rose significantly over the last decade.

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