Cutting down on methane

The US EPA and India’s largest oil producer are to work together to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and India’s largest oil producer have signed an agreement to work together to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), based in Dehradun, has joined seven other large oil and natural gas companies as a partner in the EPA’s Natural Gas STAR International program. The program aims to identify and implement projects in the oil and natural gas sector that cost-effectively reduce methane emissions and deliver more gas to markets around the world.

By joining Natural Gas STAR International, ONGC has agreed to implement technologies and practices to reduce methane emissions where it is deemed cost-effective and submit annual reports detailing the methane emission reductions it achieves. For its part, the EPA will assist ONGC with the analysis of emerging technologies, development of workshops and training courses and assistance with implementation of industry best practices.

Natural Gas STAR International is administered under the EPA’s so-called ‘Methane to Markets’ partnership. The Partnership has 20 partner countries and nearly 600 project network members across the globe.

Natural Gas STAR International builds on a similar domestic programme called Natural Gas STAR. Working with the EPA, the 110 Natural Gas STAR program industry partners have already collectively reduced US methane emissions by about 578 billion cubic feet since 1990. Today, the US oil and gas industry emits approximately 10 percent less methane than it did in 1990, largely because of the industry’s voluntary methane emissions reductions in collaboration with the Natural Gas STAR program.

Other partners in the Natural Gas STAR International program include ConocoPhillips Canada, Devon Energy, Enbridge Energy, ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum, and TransCanada.