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We’ve implemented numerous programs to reduce our emissions; including using infrared cameras to detect minute natural gas releases, reducing methane venting during well completions and installing new automated flare-monitoring alarms. In fact, protecting air quality is one of our core onshore operating principles and we continue to manage GHG emissions and integrate climate change activities and goals into our business planning.

San Juan Methane Reductions

Our San Juan operations are expansive. We hold 1.3 million net acres of oil and gas leases in the area and have more than 10,000 producing wells, but our CO2e emissions in San Juan account for approximately 0.2% of the 3 billion tons emitted by entities that report their emissions to the EPA.

Reducing our emissions is a continuous process, and we routinely assess ways and implement programs that will continue to drive reductions and allow us to operate more safely, efficiently and responsibly. For the 2014 reporting year, we reported approximately 48% reduction in CO2e emissions in the San Juan Basin relative to 2013. Our primary sources of reductions have been pneumatic devices and liquids unloading, traditionally our two largest sources of methane emissions.

For the 2014 reporting year, we reported the following relative to 2013:

  • 66% reduction in liquids unloading CO2e emissions.
  • 59% reduction for pneumatic devices CO2e emissions.

We continue to optimize plunger lift operations on wells that require liquids unloading, and we’re voluntarily replacing high-bleed pneumatic devices companywide. While regulations restrict the use of high-bleed devices on new installations, we are in the process of voluntarily replacing all high-bleed pneumatic devices with lower-bleed devices across our existing operations.

Regulations

Our industry has led the effort toward significant reductions in methane emissions through innovation and application of existing regulations.

“The oil and gas industry is leading the charge in reducing methane,” API President and CEO Jack Gerard said. “The last thing we need is more duplicative and costly regulation that could increase the cost of energy for Americans. Even as oil and natural gas production has surged, methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells have fallen nearly 79 percent since 2005, and CO2 emissions are down to 27-year lows. This is due to industry leadership and significant investments in new technologies.”

EPA’s analysis shows that methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells have fallen dramatically. Total methane emissions from natural gas systems are down 11 percent since 2005 – a direct result of industry innovation at the same time production has increased significantly, according to API.

Learn about the EPA’s oil and gas air pollution standards here.