Shell and BP join consortium to tackle methane emissions

Article by Amanda Jasi

OIL and gas companies Shell and BP have joined the Collaboratory to Advance Methane Science (CAMS), an industry-led collaborative research consortium working to understand and tackle methane emissions.

CAMS, established by leading industry companies Cheniere, Chevron, Equinor, ExxonMobil, and Pioneer Natural Resources, is working to deliver transparent data to evaluate the most efficient strategies for tackling methane emissions. Methane is the main component of natural gas and a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Through studies the consortium aims to advance science to explain where and how emissions occur along the natural gas value chain.

In February, CAMS awarded its first project to the University of Texas at Austin, US, which recently began its work. The university is to develop an open access oil and gas operations emissions calculator. The model will estimate emissions at a basin level and allow operators to evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation strategies. The university will incorporate knowledge from previous studies into the model and assess special and temporal variations in methane emissions across various oil and gas basins.

The results from all CAMS projects will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals, which will provide transparent data to help stakeholders identify the most effective mitigation strategies. The work will complement and build on recent methane emissions studies sponsored by government agencies and academia.

CAMS will also evaluate new tools and technologies to better detect leaks and characterise emissions.

Gretchen Watkins, President of US-based Shell subsidiary Shell Oil Company, said: “Shell continually seeks opportunities to broaden our knowledge related to methane emissions and reducing our environmental footprint. We see CAMS as a unique resource that could help inform and realise our targeted ambition towards lowering our methane emissions along the natural gas value chain.”

Susan Dio, Chairman and President of BP America, said: “Natural gas has a vital role to play in helping the world transition to a lower-carbon future, but we must control methane emissions for it to reach its full potential.”

“That’s why we’re taking action to minimise methane emissions in our operations and working through important collaborations like this one to do more.”

Last year, Shell announced that in an effort to reduce methane emissions it would install new equipment at its operations to reduce leaks. In September of this year, BP announced that it was deploying technologt to detect, measure, and reduce methane emissions.

Both BP and Shell are amongst energy majors which committed to reducing methane emissions from their natural gas assets. The CEOs of BP, Shell, Eni, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Statoil, Total and Wintershall met to sign the Guiding Principles document on 22 November 2017.

Last year, the Trump administration rolled back two-Obama-era laws aiming to cut methane emissions associated with oil and gas production.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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