ExxonMobil expands methane emissions reduction program

ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary XTO Energy Inc. is implementing a program to further reduce methane emissions from its US production and midstream operations.

ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary XTO Energy Inc. is implementing a program to further reduce methane emissions from its US production and midstream operations.

The program prioritizes actions at XTO-operated sites and includes efforts to develop and deploy new, more efficient technologies to detect and reduce facility emissions, ExxonMobil said on Sept. 25.

“We are implementing an enhanced leak detection and repair program across our production and midstream sites to continually reduce methane emissions, and are also evaluating opportunities to upgrade facilities and improve efficiency at both current and future sites,” said Sara Ortwein, XTO president.

The initiative will be underscored by a technology research and testing effort and will include personnel training, phasing out of high-bleed pneumatic devices over 3 years, and facility design improvements for new operations, according to Ortwein.

The announcement follows XTO’s recently completed pilot project in the Midland basin that tested new low-emission designs using compressed air instead of natural gas to operate pneumatic equipment that helps regulate conditions such as level, flow, pressure, and temperature. Results of the pilot test demonstrated the feasibility of using similar designs for new and existing central tank batteries and satellites to help reduce the potential for methane emissions, the company said.

This latest project joins XTO’s other efforts at methane emissions reduction and monitoring, including a portfolio of more than two dozen existing methane research projects, studies, and pilots under way involving joint development of more efficient, state-of-the-art equipment to detect, quantify, and reduce emissions at production sites and midstream, according to ExxonMobil.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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