These case studies show experiences with improving monitoring of methane emissions. They cover different technologies and approaches to more effective monitoring, reporting and verification systems.
Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF’s) Permian Methane Analysis Project (PermianMAP) was a methane monitoring and research project aimed at providing transparent and accessible methane emissions data from one of the world’s largest oil fields. The project was designed to use a variety of peer-reviewed advanced techniques to monitor and quantify emissions, including: satellite-based regional estimates; ground-based vehicle measurements and helicopter-mounted optical gas imaging; stationary measurement towers and periodic aircraft mass balance flights; and aircraft hyperspectral imaging. Resulting data was made available on a public website within days to weeks after data collection, as opposed to most scientific peer-reviewed efforts, which take months to years.
Measurement campaigns have suggested that actual emissions across different end-use environments are often underestimated, including in cities and households. Mobile measurement platforms are one of the tools that have been used to characterize emissions from local distribution networks. These methods can quickly survey large urban areas, identify leaks, quantify the emissions distribution and support estimates of total emissions from distribution networks. This case study provides further details on such efforts to detect and quantify methane leaks in urban areas.
Mexico’s emissions inventories have been based in simple emission factors (i.e., IPCC Tier 1), and changes in the estimation methods have resulted in significant changes in emission estimates over the past decade. This makes it impossible to track changes in emissions as well as mitigation progress. A recent study quantified methane emissions from Mexico’s most important onshore and offshore oil and gas production regions using aircraft-based measurements and satellite data (TROPOMI and VIIRS night-time flare data). This study illustrated how satellite data can be used to independently assess the representativeness of other temporally discrete sampling approaches (i.e., aircraft) with respect to annualized emission rates – thus reconciling these estimates. A follow-up study integrated roughly two years of TROPOMI data to characterize and quantify methane emissions, by sector, for the majority of the country.
In 2021, NextDecade and Project Canary started a joint pilot project for monitoring, reporting and independent third-party emissions measurement and facility certification of greenhouse gas intensity of LNG to be sold from NextDecade’s planned Rio Grande LNG export facility. The joint pilot project measures emissions across the value chain through Canary X and Aeris continuous emissions monitoring devices, and use TrustWell™ and other certification processes to confirm emissions levels of each element of the natural gas value chain – from the wellhead to the ship at Rio Grande LNG.
These case studies show experiences with improving management of methane emissions. They cover a wide array of technologies and processes that enable a reduction of emissions levels, highlighting current best practices in this field.
Flares are an essential safety device that enable gas to be disposed of when a part of an oil and gas facility has to be shut down suddenly. Operators and regulators recognize the importance of achieving high combustion efficiency of flare gas in order to reduce methane emissions. When properly burned off, the gas converts to carbon dioxide and prevents raw methane from entering the atmosphere via the flare stack. The combustion efficiency of flares should be at the level of 98% or higher. This case study shows how bp is using Flare.IQ (from Baker Hughes) to better understand, measure and ultimately reduce methane emissions associated with flares.
Beijing Gas is developing a methane emissions governance system. This includes setting up reduction targets and a monitoring system as well as implementing measures to reduce methane leaks and vented volumes. This case study explores how Beijing Gas is taking a comprehensive approach to methane abatement in urban transmission and distribution networks.
Unconventional oil and gas resources account for most the United States’ hydrocarbon production. These operations often cover a wide area and pose particular challenges for methane mitigation. This case study discusses how Chevron implemented measures to reduce methane emissions in unconventional production by minimizing designed flaring and venting in operations and piloting advanced methane detection approaches.
This case study shows how Enagás reduced methane emissions from its operations in the downstream segment. It presents a number of mitigation measures the company has implemented, including: annual leak detection and repair campaigns at all its facilities; use of boil-off gas compressors in LNG regasification plants; use of air-operated or electric valves in regasification plants and underground storage facilities; replacement of pneumatic actuators with electric ones; and recovery of compressor vents at the regasification plants.
This case study describes different solutions deployed by GRTgaz to reduce venting on its transmission network, to recover or reduce pipeline maintenance vents, compressors vents and even smaller vents on delivery stations. These solutions enabled GRTgaz to save more than 90% of the gas that would otherwise have been vented since 2018. On compression stations, a specifically-designed mobile recompression technology addresses intermediate-sized volumes. In addition, when recovery is not yet possible, a mobile blue flare stack is used to address vents. GRTgaz also implemented a specific multi-year investment plan to eliminate vent leaks and use gas resulting from depressurizations. Finally, GRTgaz developed a solution for maintenance activities on delivery stations, to enable the decompression of a station by dumping the volume of gas in another working pipeline.
In 2021, the United Kingdom’s offshore oil and gas industry committed to a range of methane emissions reduction actions under the North Sea Methane Action Plan. This plan entails cutting methane emissions in half by 2030 against a 2018 baseline, and a 90% reduction by 2050. This case study outlines core elements of the Methane Action Plan, which was designed to complement and support regulatory measures in the UK.
This case study elaborates on Snam’s Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) program, which consists of periodic campaigns for monitoring system components to identify methane leaks and plan maintenance operations. It outlines how components are monitored, repairs are carried out and LDAR data feed into emissions quantification.
A self-paced two-hour e-learning training course on why and how to reduce methane emissions across the natural gas value chain, run in conjunction with the Energy Institute