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3 tips for effective methane emission management

While the COP 25 Climate Change Conference in Madrid is coming to an end and methane emissions is definitely a hot topic on the agenda, we want to provide you with 3 tips on how to improve the measurement, data collection and reporting of methane emissions. Methane, and methane emission reduction specifically, has been the buzz word of 2019 and will continue to be so if we want to limit global warming. But when it comes to reporting accurate methane emission figures in the oil and gas sector, we often stay in the dark. Emission data for methane needs to be more accurate and reliable. What follows are 3 tips on how you can obtain more trustworthy, accurate and error proof methane emission figures.

Tip 1: stop relying on estimations

Today, Europe relies on standard emission factors for methane rather than direct measurements. This leaves room for interpretation and possible doubt, which makes regulators question the trustworthiness of the reported data.

Video Methane Accounting Program

If the oil & gas sector wants to reduce methane emissions effectively, correct identification and quantification is necessary. A possibility is to inventorize all sources in order to have a credible baseline. After identification follows quantification. Quantifying the emission with appropriate measuring technologies, depending on the Best Available Techniques, provides you with exact figures rather than estimations. Once the current situation is mapped, a program for sustainable improvements can be defined.

Tip 2: think big without big budgets

Methane emissions occur throughout the complete gas, oil and coal value chains. An official from the EU Commission’s energy directorate, said at an event last month:

An EU methane strategy should be holistic, It should cover venting, flaring and fugitive emissions..”1

Mónika Zsigri, an official from the EU Commission’s energy directorate

Experience in emission reduction on a global scale tells us that one can expect 1 to 2% leaking equipment. A focused repair effort can lead quickly to an emission reduction of 70%. Besides an annual LDAR program for fugitive emissions, a focused Vent and Flare Loss Monitoring Program delivers a fast return on investment at a limited cost. Repairing the biggest emitting passing valves quickly results in a payback of only 5 months. In conclusion, it is possible to identify and reduce methane emissions throughout the value chain without big budgets.

Tip 3: minimize human errors

Direct measurements onsite might be better to get more insight in methane emissions but the measurements are still being done by people. People sometimes make mistakes. How can you minimize human errors during those measurements?

Acquiring the data seamlessly from measurement straight into the database is a possible solution. By using specific measuring equipment and emission management software, PPM values are registered and are automatically uploaded from the measuring device into the database. P&ID extracts and photos are automatically captured in the software, which enables fast report generation and sets clear priorities for the repair team.

The software captures and reports emissions throughout the complete value chain. All emission protocols are implemented in the application. Whether your company has a country-specific environmental regulation, it is internationally defined or is even specific to your company, the software is designed in a flexible way so it suits your needs and can handle bespoke enquiries.

The application also easily runs on desktop, ATEX tablets and ATEX phone through a mobile application. This means that accurate emission data is always at your fingertips. The result: faster, safe and errorproof measurements, data capturing and reporting.

More information

Would you like more information about our experience in helping oil & gas companies identify, quantify and reduce methane emissions? Contact our experts or contact your local office directly. We gladly provide you with advice.