BP, Environmental Defense Fund partner to reduce methane emissions

operator uses infrared camera.jpg.img.1920.mediumEnergy firm BP and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have announced a three-year strategic commitment to advance technologies and practices to reduce methane emissions from the global oil and gas supply chain

The agreement enables joint collaboration on projects that test technologies and emerging strategies to continue to improve methane management.

Bernard Looney, BP’s Upstream chief executive, said, “We’ve made great progress driving down emissions across our own business, including meeting our industry-leading methane intensity target of 0.2 per cent, but there is much more work to do and partnering with the committed and capable team at EDF will help us develop and share best practices.”

Fred Krupp, EDF president, added, “BP’s commitment to push the next frontier of methane technology and practice is important to prove out solutions that oil and gas companies can use to accelerate emission reductions. The scale of the methane challenge is enormous, but so is the opportunity. Whether natural gas can play a constructive role in the energy transition depends on aggressive measures to reduce emissions that include methane.”

The collaboration will also facilitate dialogue between industry on best practices for monitoring and reducing emissions. EDF will provide science, technology and policy input.

The important initiatives for the new methane collaborative focus on three areas in 2019:

-Advancing Technology Breakthroughs

BP grants up to US$500,000 to a multi-stakeholder research initiative led by Colorado State University (CSU) that will improve the paths to regulatory acceptance for emerging methane detection and quantification technologies. Advances such as drone-based methane monitoring and stationary continuous monitoring offer the potential to speed up detection time, enabling more emissions to be found and fixed with increased efficiency.

-Leveraging Digital Technologies

The digital revolution sweeping the oil and gas industry offers new opportunities to integrate methane management into operational excellence, as identified in EDF's report, Fueling the Digital Methane Future, produced with Accenture Strategy. Technology solutions such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and augmented reality can embed methane management into the digital transformation that companies like BP are implementing to adapt and compete in a changing landscape. In 2019, EDF and BP will scope and announce a digitalisation project for methane that will harness innovation that improves operations and reduces emissions. Results and vital learnings will be publicised to maximise environmental and industry benefits.

-Expanding Methane Management

BP and EDF will work together on projects aimed at enhancing the understanding of joint ventures, identifying best practices and potential opportunities to reduce methane emissions in non-operated assets. A 2018 EDF report found that companies like BP can extend the impact of their methane reduction targets by supporting emission reductions in joint venture projects with other oil and gas operators.

In 2019, BP and EDF will convene a workshop to learn about emission reduction practices for non-operated assets and identify potential opportunities to expand coverage of methane efforts and commitments.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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