September 2020, Vol. 247, No. 9


Environmental Partnership Releases Report, Expands to Pipeline Companies

P&GJ Staff Report

The Environmental Partnership expanded its membership to midstream companies and released its second annual report, highlighting the industry’s progress in reducing emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and working together to protect the environment. 

Highlights from the annual report include the following:

  • Implementing Leak Detection and Repair Program: More than 184,000 surveys were conducted across more than 87,000 production sites. The surveys found that of the more than 116 million component inspections performed, only 0.08% of the components needed repair – 10 times lower than Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates.
  • Replacing Pneumatic Controller Program: More than 3,300 high-bleed pneumatic controllers have been replaced, retrofitted or removed from service by the companies participating in the program. Notably, 43 participating companies in the program reported suspended use of high-bleed pneumatic controllers in their operations. The Partnership expanded this program to address emissions from all gas-driven controllers, not just high-bleeds, leading to the removal of more than 10,500 additional gas-driven controllers and the installation of more than 2,800 zero-emission controllers.
  • Increased Monitoring: Through The Environmental Partnership’s Manual Liquids Unloading Program, more than 44,000 manual liquids unloading events were monitored in 2019, minimizing their duration and the emissions associated with these actions.

“From large integrated global companies to smaller independent energy firms, and for the first time including midstream members, this partnership shows our industry stands ready to tackle the nation’s energy challenges while providing affordable, reliable and cleaner energy,” said American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Mike Sommers.

Since its launch in 2017, The Environmental Partnership has more than tripled in size, including 36 of the top 40 U.S. natural gas producers. These companies, ranging from the smallest to the largest and operating across the U.S. and in every major onshore production basin, demonstrate the broad reach and implementation of the program.

“None of this is possible without the dedication of the women and men of the participating companies, and we are grateful for the enthusiasm and leadership they continue to bring to The Environmental Partnership,” said Vanessa Ryan, manager of the carbon reduction team at Chevron and chair of The Environmental Partnership. 

Industry actions have already proven effective for reducing methane emissions, the organization said. Between 2011 and 2018, industry actions led to a nearly 70% decline in methane emission rates across five of the largest producing regions across the U.S., even as natural gas production in those regions tripled over the period. The Environmental Partnership was launched in 2017 to build on this progress.

“By sharing best practices, implementing innovative programs and advancing new technologies, we will continue to drive operational improvements in the years ahead,” said Director for The Environmental Partnership Matthew Todd.

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