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Accomplishments

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Introduction

Established in 1993, the Natural Gas STAR Program is a flexible, voluntary partnership that encourages oil and natural gas companies—both in the United States and internationally—to adopt proven, cost-effective technologies and practices that improve operational efficiency and reduce methane emissions. Given that methane is the primary component of natural gas and is a potent greenhouse gas—25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2) in trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 100-year period—reducing methane emissions can result in environmental, economic, and operational benefits.

Natural Gas STAR partners have operations in all of the major industry sectors (production, gathering and processing, transmission, and distribution) that deliver natural gas to end users. Since the inception of the program, these domestic partners have eliminated more than 1.2 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of methane emissions by implementing approximately 150 cost-effective technologies and practices.

With the launch of Natural Gas STAR International (NGSI) in 2006, the Program has expanded to include companies worldwide, significantly increasing opportunities to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations. NGSI builds off of the framework of the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), an international public-private partnership that advances the cost-effective, voluntary recovery of methane for use as a clean energy source. To date, NGSI partners have reduced methane emissions by 105 billion cubic feet (Bcf).

Together, Natural Gas STAR and NGSI have more than 130 partner companies—24 of which are international partners. This page highlights the methane emissions reductions that both domestic and international partners have achieved, as well as the variety of technologies and practices they have implemented to reduce methane emissions.

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Ongoing Success in the U.S.

During calendar year 2014, 61 percent of U.S. partners submitted an annual report detailing their efforts in 2013 to reduce methane emissions from their operations. These voluntary activities consisted of nearly 50 technologies and practices and resulted in domestic emissions reductions of 50.7 Bcf for the year. These methane emissions reductions have cross-cutting benefits on domestic energy supply, industrial efficiency, revenue generation, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The 2013 emission reductions are equivalent to:

2013 Methane Emissions Reductions by Sector 2013 Domestic Natural Gas STAR Emissions Reductions as of 2013
Capacity Building Efforts

Many methane emission reduction technologies and practices have become widely implemented as a result of Natural Gas STAR Program events and resources. Recent noteworthy events have included:

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Domestic Emissions Reductions by Sector

The following section illustrates the major sources of methane emissions from each industry sector and the technologies and practices implemented by partners to reduce emissions. The information showing the breakdown of emissions sources was taken from the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks 1990 - 2012, USEPA, dated April 2014, and the information showing Natural Gas STAR partner activities was taken from partner reports and Natural Gas STAR historical data. The following diagram shows some of the top methane emissions reduction opportunities for each sector.

Top methane emissions reduction opportunities

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Production Sector Accomplishments

Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks 1990 - 2012, USEPA, April 2014.

Production sector partners reported 40.4 Bcf of methane emissions reductions in 2013—and a total of 859.8 Bcf since 1990. The top technologies and practices employed by production sector partners are displayed in the charts below.

Production Sector Accomplishments for 2013 Cumulative Production Sector Accomplishments Since 1990

Detailed information on these technologies and practices can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/gasstar/tools/recommended.html

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Gathering and Processing Sector Accomplishments

Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks 1990 - 2012, USEPA, April 2014.

Gathering and processing sector partners reported 1.2 Bcf of methane emissions reductions in 2013—and a total of 49.2 Bcf since 1990. The top technologies and practices employed by gathering and processing sector partners are displayed in the charts below.

Gathering and Processing Sector Accomplishments for 2013 Cumulative Gathering and Processing Sector Accomplishments Since 1990

Detailed information on these technologies and practices can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/gasstar/tools/recommended.html

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Transmission Sector Accomplishments

Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks 1990 - 2012, USEPA, April 2014.

Transmission sector partners reported 8.3 Bcf of methane emissions reductions in 2013—and a total of 271.1 Bcf since 1993. The top technologies and practices employed by transmission sector partners are displayed in the charts below.

Transmission Sector Accomplishments for 2013 Cumulative Transmission Sector Accomplishments Since 1993

Detailed information on these technologies and practices can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/gasstar/tools/recommended.html

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Distribution Sector Accomplishments

Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks 1990 - 2012, USEPA, April 2014.

Distribution sector partners reported 0.8 Bcf of methane emissions reductions in 2013—and a total of 46.2 Bcf since 1993. The top technologies and practices employed by distribution sector partners are displayed in the charts below.

Distribution Sector Accomplishments for 2013 Cumulative Distribution Sector Accomplishments Since 1993

Detailed information on these technologies and practices can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/gasstar/tools/recommended.html

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Natural Gas STAR International

In addition to the success reported under the domestic Program, progress is also being made in reducing global methane emissions through Natural Gas STAR International. International partners reported 7.7 Bcf in methane emissions reductions for a total of 106 Bcf since the inception of Natural Gas STAR International Program. To date, international partners have undertaken methane emission reduction activities in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Equatorial Guinea, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Oman, Poland and Qatar. For 2013, these companies reported methane emissions reductions from the implementation of 11 technologies and practices.

The 2013 voluntary international methane emissions reductions are equivalent to:

Natural Gas STAR International Methane Emissions Reductions as of 2013
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

In January 2013, the Climate and Clean Air Coalitions (CCAC) launched an Oil and Gas Initiative. The Initiative focuses on reducing venting, leakage, and flaring of natural gas from global oil and gas operations and seeks to accelerate and expand global methane and black carbon emission reductions, building upon and scaling up achievements of the NGSI Program, GMI, and the World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) Partnership and showcase progress by companies in addressing short-lived climate pollutants. Follow the link for additional information: http://www.ccacoalition.org/index.html.

Advancing Natural Gas STAR International

EPA met with several oil and gas companies to engender support and to discuss the possibility of joining NGSI. Partners joining the program in 2014 include:

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Historical Accomplishments

Please note that this is historical information. Each summary report below captures a snapshot of the Program's achievements at the time of original publication. Please refer to the most current information above for methane emissions reductions achieved and top technologies and practices implemented by partners.

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