By Matthew Todd
The Environmental Partnership – Program Director
The World Gas Conference provides a great forum for the natural gas industry to come together and discuss shared goals. That is why The Environmental Partnership is proud to be represented at this year’s conference, and we look forward to sharing more information about this important new program.
The Environmental Partnership, which launched last December, is made up of oil and natural gas producers of all sizes who share a common mission – to continually improve our environmental performance by taking action, learning about best practices and technologies, and fostering collaboration.
Our industry has a proud history of utilizing innovation and collaboration to tackle pressing challenges. According to EPA data, methane emissions from natural gas and petroleum systems decreased 14 percent from 1990 to 2016, while natural gas output increased by more than 50 percent during the same period. At the same time, advanced technologies like hydraulic fracturing have helped the United States become the world leader in lowering carbon emissions, reducing them to a 25-year low.
Now oil and natural gas producers have an opportunity to build on these important accomplishments through The Environmental Partnership.
The Partnership’s initial focus is on further reducing air emissions, including methane and volatile organic compounds, from oil and natural gas production. These are important targets as they comprise the majority of emissions from our sector. To accomplish this goal, participating companies have agreed to implement one or more environmental performance programs to address emissions from high-bleed pneumatic controllers, equipment leaks and manual liquids unloading events.
To inform and educate people about our industry’s progress, participants in The Environmental Partnership have committed to annual reporting that will be compiled by The Partnership and released publicly.
For our industry, The Environmental Partnership represents a real commitment to continuously improve our environmental performance and offers an important opportunity to learn and collaborate with other companies and colleagues.
The Partnership is hosting regular industry workshops where oil and natural gas producers can learn from experts about the latest techniques and technologies that can reduce air emissions. In addition, The Partnership allows companies and workers to share scientific data and promote best practices.
Interest in The Environmental Partnership continues to grow as companies learn about the new program. In just its first six months, participation has expanded by fifty percent to 39 companies – representing operators from every major oil and natural gas producing basin and responsible for more than 30 percent of U.S. natural gas production.
When it comes to continued environmental improvement, oil and natural gas producers can go it alone or work collaboratively with their peers. The Environmental Partnership recognizes that more can be accomplished when we work together. For more information, please visit the website at www.TheEnvironmentalPartnership.org.