US Producers Reveal More Details on Their Methane Oversight Programs 0

Many top upstream and midstream companies in the US oil and gas sector are making meaningful methane disclosures to address increasing investor concerns about the gas, according to a report by the Environmental Defense Fund.

The EDF report, The Disclosure Divide: Revisiting Rising Risk and Methane Reporting in the U.S. Oil & Gas Industry, found that nine of the top 64 upstream and midstream companies release comprehensive reports on their methane leak detection and repair programs (LDAR), with many of the remaining companies carrying out some form of methane management program.

“Bright spots in the report include Southwestern Energy, which not only has a quantitative target, but is also committed to continuous improvement,” the report found. Noble Energy was also highlighted for releasing extensive details on its LDAR program in the Denver Julesburg Basin, the Appalachian Basin and onshore Texas.

“Noble’s methodology for inspections is conducted with infrared cameras. These efforts are reported as contributing factors to Noble Energy’s 1.62 billion cubic feet (bcf) reduction in methane emissions in 2016,” the report said.

Top performers also included shale-focused US producers Consol Energy, EOG Resources, Hess, Noble Energy, and WPX Energy as well as diversified international players ConocoPhillps and ExxonMobil and North American pipeline giant TransCanada.

To receive the highest distinction, each of the companies had to disclose three key details about its LDAR program, namely: The scope of the program, the frequency of inspections, and the methodology used for methane detection.

EDF noted that LDAR is evolving rapidly with emerging technologies like continuous mon­itors being piloted by Shell and Statoil, drone-based monitors, and predictive analytics.

Methane, a key component of natural gas, is a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide that is linked to climate change, according to EDF.

Activist Shareholders Push for Disclosures

The increased disclosures come as the Trump administration is rolling back aggressive methane-reduction regulations written by the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department, measures that were criticized by the oil and gas industry for the complexity and high cost of compliance.

Regardless, the focus on methane emissions is unlikely to abate as a growing number of investors are pressuring oil and gas companies to increase their environmental disclosures. The EDF report found that five of the seven companies that began offering more details on their LDAR practices in 2017 were targets of methane-shareholder resolutions during the past two years.

EDF bloggers Kate Gaumond and Sean Wright note that 390 investors representing more than $22 trillion in assets have signed a letter supporting the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, an organization that advocates for a unified set of recommendations for corporate climate disclosure.

Among those calling for these measures is CalSTRS, California’s second largest public pension fund. “As a long-term global investor, we recognize that methane emissions are one of the most financially significant environmental risks we face,” Brian Rice, portfolio manager at CalSTRS said in a press release.

The push appears to be working. Cimarex Energy started providing more information about its methane management practices after it received methane shareholder resolutions in 2016 and 2017. ExxonMobil has likewise been the target of similar shareholder action and last year unveiled a comprehensive methane emissions reduction program focused on its shale-focused subsidiary XTO Energy (SO Jan. 28’18).

Industry is Leading its Own Efforts

The oil and gas industry has created its own group to address environmental concerns. In December, a host of players joined with the American Petroleum Institute to create a partnership designed to reduce the environmental impact operations across the US (SO Dec.24’17).

The voluntary effort, called the Environmental Partnership, is comprised of 26 producers who have pledged to initially focus on reducing emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from their operations.

The move is as a step in the right direction, though many environmental advocates would still like to see more.

“EDF looks forward to working with leading companies and other stakeholders to support methane regulations that build from and improve upon federal and state regulatory models and ensure that we are tapping all cost-effective solutions to comprehensively address oil and gas methane emissions,” EDF business director Ben Ratner said in a press release.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Nouryon introduces more sustainable demulsifiers for the oilfield market 0

10 Oct 2019 – Press Release

Nouryon has introduced a range of demulsifiers that provide oil producers with a more sustainable option to separate crude oil from natural gas and water. The Witbreak NEO range is inherently biodegradable in seawater and has a better cost-to-performance ratio compared to conventional demulsifiers currently available on the market.

“High performing demulsifiers that also fulfill the strict environmental regulations outlined by the Convention for the Protection of Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) are still scarce,” said Mohammad Siddiqui, Global Technical Marketing Manager at Nouryon. “The Witbreak NEO range is an outcome of a collaborative innovation project with key customers and addresses the need for versatile demulsifiers that have a better ecological and performance profile, and they are OSPAR compliant as well.”

Nouryon supplies a full range of specialty chemicals to the upstream oil and gas production process. AB Ghosh, Managing Director Surface Chemistry at Nouryon, added: “We take great pride in the value of our product portfolio and we are committed to satisfy evolving demands in the oil and gas market. We look forward to rolling out the Witbreak NEO range and helping our customers set the standard for performance, both in application and environmental impact.”

Nouryon recently announced a €12-million investment that would double capacity at its surfactants plant in Stenungsund, Sweden to support the growth of several existing products as well as new more sustainable products for key markets including oil and gas, lubricants and fuels and asphalt.

https://www.nouryon.com/

BP Oman Achieves Significant Reduction in CO2 Emissions for the Khazzan Project 0

BP Oman Achieves Significant Reduction in CO2 Emissions for the Khazzan Project

Fit-for-basin well cleanup solution enables zero-flaring delivery of new wells to central production facility

GHG emissions reduction goal

As part of BP’s commitment to advancing a low carbon future, BP operations around the world are striving to make a meaningful contribution to reduce GHG emissions. For BP Oman, a major GHG-emitting activity is associated with flaring in cleanup operations for new wells. For this scenario, BP Oman is taking the lead to identify and implement proactive ways of reducing GHG emissions in Khazzan Field for new well cleanups.

Introducing green completions

Supergiant Khazzan Field is characterized by tight reservoirs that require hydraulic fracturing to release the gas. After fracturing, wells are tested and cleaned up by the conventional method of flaring and burning the well fluids, which are gas and produced condensate. This results in the release of GHG to the atmosphere. To eliminate these emissions, BP Oman introduced green completions to Khazzan Field. The green completions technique redefines well testing from a GHG-producing activity to one that prevents GHG emissions by routing the hydrocarbons to the production facility.

BP’s ambition is to be a net zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get to net zero. Schlumberger shares BP’s commitment to low carbon and is committed to set a science-based target by 2021 and update the CO2 emissions footprint ambition accordingly.

Collaborative design for challenging conditions

BP Oman engaged with Schlumberger to develop a fit-for-basin solution to clean up and produce gas from Khazzan Field after fracturing. All modifications and designs were performed through the Schlumberger RapidResponse customer-driven product development process to enable solids-free produced hydrocarbons at optimal conditions for combination with the processing facility pipeline.

Photograph of fit-for-basin zero-flaring solution for the Khazzan Field.
Schlumberger and BP Oman collaborated to deliver a fit-for-basin zero-flaring solution for the Khazzan Field

Project success contributes to low carbon goals

The residual solids from stimulation operations that are often present in the fluid flowstream pose a risk to system integrity and can compromise process lines and production facility equipment. To address this risk, Schlumberger designed and installed an integrated separation, filtration, and acoustic monitoring system for the well testing solution.

One challenge was the relatively high separating process pressure needed, which demanded a specific well test design that didn’t exceed the process facility gathering system design pressure. A solution was developed by combining large-bore temporary pipelines and manifolds with a digitally enabled, high-capacity four-phase horizontal separator equipped with autonomous meters providing real-time measurements and monitoring efficient separation of the well effluent phases to deliver hydrocarbons at export specifications.

The design also enhanced process safety by incorporating 6-in safety valves in the electronic emergency shutdown system to address the high volume of hydrocarbons in the pipelines.

Project success contributes to low carbon goals

Schlumberger well testing solutions continue to operate at Khazzan Field and have set a new bar for operational efficiency and service delivery by improving customer performance. In 2019, the green completions well cleanup technique has been applied to 10 wells for flowback to clean up for production and reservoir testing. The result is more than 80,000 t of CO2 emission reduction. This is equivalent to taking nearly 18,000 cars off the road for a year.

Most Popular Topics

Editor Picks

Send this to a friend