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BP to Monitor Methane Continuously at Major New Oil and Gas Projects

Credit: BP
Credit: BP

By The Maritime Executive 2019-09-10 19:15:23

BP has committed to deploying continuous methane emission measurement technology at its future BP-operated oil and gas processing projects.

Continuous measurement, including instruments such as gas cloud imaging (GCI), will be rolled out to all new major projects worldwide. The technology has also been tested and installed in existing facilities such as BP’s giant natural gas Khazzan field in Oman. It will be coupled with the use of drones fitted with lasers and “sniffers,” hand-held devices and multi-spectral flare combustion cameras. 

The data generated will help BP identify the largest opportunities to tackle methane emissions, drive efficiency and develop best practice, the company says, and is ultimately aimed at delivering and improving on BP’s methane intensity target of 0.2 percent from its upstream operations. 

The deployment of this technology represents a major change in the oil and gas industry, as historically, engineering calculations and emission factors have played an important part in quantifying emissions. BP anticipates that inspections that used to take seven days will now be able to take 30 minutes. 

Gordon Birrell, BP’s chief operating officer for production, transformation and carbon, said: “For gas to play its fullest role in the energy transition, we have to keep it in the pipe. This new technology will help us do that by detecting methane emissions in real time. The faster and more accurately we can identify and measure leaks, the better we can respond and, informed by the data collected, work to prevent them.”

In time, the data collected will feed information into an extensive digital cloud network as part of a global integrated approach to reduce both methane and carbon emissions. BP recently announced its Upstream Carbon Fund –  $100 million of funding for selected emission reduction projects to deliver new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions in BP’s existing upstream oil and gas operations. By the end of 2018, BP generated 2.5 million tonnes of sustainable GHG emissions reductions throughout its businesses.

Earlier this year, BP confirmed a three-year partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a New York-based non-profit environmental advocacy group, aimed at developing further technologies to detect and prevent methane leaks.

BP is also a founding member of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which brings together 13 of the world’s largest energy companies and has set up a $1 billion investment fund to address methane emissions and invest in complementary technology, including Carbon Capture, Use and Storage.

BP supports the Methane Guiding Principles, which were developed by a coalition of industry, institutions, academics and NGOs, to reduce methane emissions across the gas value chain. 

BP participates in a number of World Bank flaring reduction initiatives, including the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR), which works to increase the use of natural gas associated with oil production by helping to remove technical and regulatory barriers to flaring reduction. It is also a member of the ‘Zero Routine Flaring by 2030' initiative, which brings together stakeholders to work together to eliminate routine flaring from operated oil assets by 2030. BP reports progress to the World Bank each year.