Oil & Gas

Oil and gas industry reducing methane emissions

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has outlined the actions some members of the association are taking to reduce, report and monitor their emissions in the Australia’s Cleaner Energy Future: Industry’s Actions on Reducing Methane Emissions report.

The report also includes a series of case studies which details members’ involvement to lower emissions as well as their work alongside leading science bodies and agencies to continue striving for more sustainability.

Actions detailed in the report included Origin Energy’s ‘sniffer truck’ which has inspected wells across 31,000 km of QLD to detect and remedy very small leaks.

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The vehicle’s extendable mast is sensitive enough to detect a cow at 50 m, a gas well at 500 m, and a gas plant over two kilometres away.

Fellow APPEA member Arrow Energy is using air-driven pneumatic control devices in CSG fields that reduce emissions by up to 700 tonnes CO2-e per year for each device.

ExxonMobil, meanwhile, reduced flaring at its Gippsland operations by approximately 30 per cent over the past two years by optimising the energy footprint of individual pieces of equipment.

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APPEA Chief Executive Samantha McCulloch said that it’s wonderful to see the innovative approaches and technologies being developed by the industry for the challenges the world faces.

“Our industry is committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by 2050 and reducing methane emissions has been a priority of our industry for decades as members monitor, report, and reduce their fugitive emissions profile, participating in several global initiatives,” she said.

“Highlighting this, several APPEA members have already committed directly to the Global Methane Pledge or have emissions reduction targets consistent with, or going beyond, the Pledge.”

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McCulloch said methane emissions from the sector were very low compared to other industries in Australia and to oil and gas industries internationally.

“Methane leakage rates for the entire Australian gas production system—both upstream and downstream—is around 0.7 per cent, according to the Australian Government,” she said.

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