Report: Environmental Partnership’s New Flare Management Program Leads To 50 Percent Reduction in Flaring Intensity

Thu, September 30, 2021

The Environmental Partnership’s third annual report highlights the oil and natural gas industry’s commitment to reduce flaring and emissions across the nation’s production and transmission segments. Efforts by member companies as part of the Partnership’s new flaring management program resulted in a 50 percent reduction in flaring intensity in 2020.

Built on three principles – learn, collaborate and take action – the Partnership represents more than 70 percent of U.S. onshore oil and gas production, including leading Texas-based operators such ExxonMobil, Apache and EOG Resources.

The new flaring management program complements the Partnership’s existing efforts to reduce flaring, including a leak detection and repair program and its focus on high-bleed pneumatic controllers which are a significant source of methane emissions within the industry.

Since 2018, more than 5,000 zero-emission pneumatic controllers have been installed and thousands of gas-driven controllers have been replaced or removed ensuring that the industry does its part to responsibly develop our nation’s essential oil and natural gas resources.

In 2020, participating companies removed, retrofitted, or replaced more than 970 high-bleed pneumatic controllers with low- or zero-emitting devices. Participating companies also performed more than 235 million component inspections at 85,000 production sites throughout the year.

While it was not possible to hold in-person workshops due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Environmental Partnership pushed forward with its educational and collaborative programs including continuing its collaboration with Colorado State University’s Methane Emissions Test and Evaluation Center. As part of the program, participating companies have provided site access to conduct rigorous field testing of new emissions detection technologies. The partnership also continued to collaborate with the University of Arizona and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to identify leaks through aerial surveys and launch a new pilot project using a novel detection technology in the Permian and Denver-Julesberg basin. 

In the report announcement, Vanessa Ryan, Chair of the Environmental Partnership and manager of carbon and climate policy for Chevron emphasized the Environmental Partnership’s continued commitment despite the pandemic; “the Environmental Partnership’s scope and implementation continued to grow despite the challenges of the previous year, and we’re confident in our industry’s resolve to tackle new challenges as we strive to meet the mission of the program and never stop improving.”  

Since the partnership’s founding in 2017, it has expanded from 23 oil and natural companies to 94 small and large operators in every major U.S. oil and gas basin, with Houston-based TRP Energy joining in 2020. The initiative has leveraged best practices to conduct programs in 41 out of 50 states to help reduce methane emissions rates relative to production by nearly 70 percent in the largest U.S. basins, despite an increase in production, over the last decade.