Methane management in unconventional operations

ExxonMobil is progressing a comprehensive methane management pro-gramme which is on track to meet its goal of reducing methane emissions by 15% in 2020, compared to 2016. It comprises leak detection and repair (LDAR) efforts, a phase-out of high bleed pneumatic devices, revised operating procedures and personnel training.

The programme involves substantial data gathering, research, and technology development. While global in nature, a significant effort is focused on ExxonMobil’s unconventional oil and gas operations in the USA. The programme has already shown significant progress. Since 2016, methane emissions from unconventional operations have been reduced by 20%.

Data gathered during LDAR efforts in the Permian Basin in Texas and in New Mexico have allowed us to deploy new low-emission design technologies to components with a high potential to leak. These technologies include improved designs for controlling tank emissions and instrument air packages, which use compressed air instead of natural gas to power controllers.

ExxonMobil is also pursuing an extensive research and technology development programme devoted to more effectively reducing methane emissions and advancing cost-effective mitigation policies through engagements with governments and other stakeholders. The company is also a founding member of the Methane Guiding Principles – now working together with OGCI – to advance methane emissions reduction initiatives.


What OGCI member companies are doing to reduce methane emissions

Member companies are expanding leak detection and repair campaigns, removing high-emitting devices, and reducing both flaring and venting.