In addition to tough new regulations on carbon emissions, the Obama administration recently issued a strategy to reduce methane emissions.
The administration’s proposal on carbon calls for a 30 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 over 2005 levels. President Obama is using his executive authority under the Clean Air Act to create the new rule, but the proposal will go into a public hearing phase. Lawsuits are likely, but experts believe the rule will likely be upheld.
The regulations hit new ground because they impose restrictions on emissions from existing power plants.
Even before the administration’s proposal on carbon, the Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions was released. This is not law or regulation. Rather, it is a policy document that nonetheless will have wide-ranging impact on United States businesses, especially those in the oil and natural gas industry.
Technology has been cited as key to helping the oil and natural gas industry meet the new policy statement regarding methane emissions.
An article on how the geoAMPS solution can help oil and natural gas companies reduce methane emissions has been published on The Energy Collective website.
Emissions control technologies targeting volatile organic compounds and methane, with particular focus on oil and coproducing wells, liquids unloading, leaks, pneumatic devices and compressors offer cost-effective ways to substantially reduce methane waste and emissions. Data shows a substantial amount of methane emissions originating from leaks from natural gas production, gas processing and transmission. Most methane and volatile organic chemical leaks happen from only a few components at a limited number of sites.
The article on The Energy Collective discusses how geoAMPS’ industry-specific software, among other capabilities, empowers oil and natural gas companies with the ability toschedule systematic inspections of their project infrastructure. Those inspections help companies know the points within their project infrastructure where methane is being released.
The schedule can be as broad as inspection of one or more compressors or as detailed as inspection of individual seals. Through a centralized web database, the administrator can assign an inspection and the work crew can communicate the results and any repair work required. By utilizing mobile devices, the inspection can be assigned and the results reported quickly and without the need for paper records. The chance of duplicating inspections of specific sections of infrastructure is greatly reduced if not eliminated.
The software generates inspection reports automatically according to the desired schedule. These reports can help the company meet any documentation requests from EPA or elsewhere.
“Oil and natural gas companies face a tremendous challenge in reducing methane emissions from their project infrastructure,” Yogesh Khandelwal, President and Chief Executive Officer of geoAMPS, said. “A schedule of systematic inspections of the many points within the infrastructure can go a along way in helping companies meet this challenge.”
The geoAMPS software is one of several technologies available to help oil and natural gas companies reduce methane emissions.
Methane is released primarily by landfills, cattle, and leaks from oil and natural gas production. Oil and natural gas activities, the agency says, represented 28 percent of the total 2012 domestic methane emissions. The equivalent of 127 million tons of carbon dioxide was emitted as methane from production, processing, transmission, storage and distribution gas. Methane emissions from crude oil production and refining were the equivalent of 32 million tons of carbon dioxide. Nine percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas pollution is attributed to methane.
Dan Liggett is Communications and Public Relations Manager for geoAMPS, a technology company in the Columbus, OH, area that specializes in software solutions to manage land rights and infrastructure assets. For more information, call 614-389-4871 or visit www.geoamps.com.