ExxonMobil begins certification of its natural gas


ExxonMobil is seeking to reinforce the credibility of its efforts to reduce its methane emissions, starting from operations at its Poker Lake facilities in New Mexico.

The multinational oil giant is partnering with the non-profit MiQ, an independent validator, to begin the certification process for natural gas coming from its Poker Lake operations in the Permian Basin. Certified natural gas validates emissions reduction efforts and helps customers meet their emissions goals.

“There is a growing demand for products that help fulfill customers’ ESG objectives, such as certified natural gas,” said Julie King, ExxonMobil spokesperson, referring to Environmental, Social and Governance initiatives.

She told the Reporter-Telegram by email that companies are increasingly looking at the environmental impact and seeking products that differentiate them in the market. 

“We are having conversations with a variety of gas buyers who are evaluating ways to fulfill their ESG goals,” she wrote. “MiQ provides credible third-party validation of our emissions reduction efforts. Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for customers who want to demonstrate ESG performance by sourcing natural gas that is certified as meeting credible independent standards around methane management.”

MiQ is a partnership between RMI, formerly the Rocky Mountain Institute, and SYSTEMIQ, a global sustainability consultancy, that developed and maintains the “MiQ Standard.” This is a framework that assess and grades methane intensity, enhanced monitoring technology deployment and operating practices that promote a culture of emissions management and continuous improvement. An MiQ accredited independent auditor performs the assessment and MiQ issues tradeable certificates based on the grade received from the auditor.

Bart Cahir, senior vice president of unconventional at ExxonMobil, said in a statement announcing the agreement with MiQ, “We are reducing methane emissions responsibly and economically, and by working with MiQ, we can provide our customers with credible third-party validation of those efforts. As we improve our operations, certifying our natural gas will help our customers achieve their goals and support a lower-carbon future.” 

ExxonMobil has selected Poker Lake for certification because of the wide range of technology solutions already in place, scale advantages, proximity to nearby markets, and growth potential as production in New Mexico increases. The company has expanded use of aerial LiDAR (light detection and ranging) imaging and SOOFIE (systematic observations of facility intermittent emissions) methane detection technologies in the region and is evaluating additional next-generation applications, including satellites and artificial intelligence, as part of its ongoing initiatives to find smarter and faster ways to detect and mitigate emissions. 

The company exceeded its goals to reduce methane emissions by 15 percent and flaring by 25 percent by year-end 2020, compared to 2016 levels. The company has conducted more than 23,000 voluntary methane leak surveys across more than 9,500 sites and eliminated all high-bleed pneumatic devices across its U.S. unconventional production.  

ExxonMobil has previously announced plans to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its operations by 2025, compared to 2016 levels. The plans include a 15 to 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas intensity of upstream operations. The reductions will be supported by a 40 to 50 percent reduction in methane intensity and a 35 to 45 percent reduction in flaring intensity. The company aims for industry-leading greenhouse gas performance across its businesses by 2030. 

Approximately 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from Poker Lake will be assessed and certified. The certified natural gas could be available to customers by fourth quarter 2021.

The agreement with MiQ supports the American Petroleum Institute’s recently issued Climate Action Framework to help develop markets for differentiated U.S. natural gas. Under this framework, cleaner fuels in three areas – natural gas, electricity and transportation – would be advanced.

The framework also calls for developing markets for differentiated US natural gas as the nation emerges as a major natural gas exporter. Under this framework, API would use its expertise in developing industry standards to help promote transparency, credibility and international recognition of differentiated natural gas from the US.

According to King, ExxonMobil is evaluating additional certification opportunities, including other Permian Basin fields and shale production areas, including Appalachia and Haynesville. The expansion and timing will depend on market interest, she said.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here