2017 Natural Gas STAR Program Accomplishments
This page highlights the 2017 methane emissions reductions that domestic partners have achieved, as well as the variety of technologies and practices they have implemented to reduce methane emissions.
Natural Gas STAR Program partners have operations in all of the major industry segments (production, gathering and processing, transmission, and distribution) that deliver natural gas to end users.
Each year, these partners submit an annual report documenting their previous year’s methane emission reduction activities. The section below provides data on activities implemented by partners in 2017 to reduce methane emissions from their operations.
During calendar year 2018, Partners submitted an annual report detailing their efforts in 2017 to reduce methane emissions from their operations. These voluntary activities consisted of 45 technologies and practices and resulted in emissions reductions of 96.8 Bcf for the year. These methane emissions reductions have cross-cutting benefits on domestic energy supply, industrial efficiency, revenue generation, improved air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The emission reductions are equivalent to additional revenue of approximately $291 million in natural gas sales (assumes an average natural gas price of $3.00 per thousand cubic feet).
The charts below present the 2017 methane emissions reductions by segment, as reported by Natural Gas STAR Partners, and the total methane emissions reductions as of 2017.
|Gathering and Processing
Below are segment-specific summaries of 2017 methane emissions reductions reported by partners and the top technologies and practices that were employed.
Since 1993, Production segment Partners have reported reductions totaling 1,068.9 Bcf. In 2017, Production segment Partners reported 86.4 Bcf of methane emissions reductions through the use of a variety of technologies, such as:
- Reducing blowdown frequency by using foaming agents, removing accumulated fluid in gas wells by installing a plunger or artificial lift system, and operating smart well automation
- Installing vapor recovery units (VRUs) on storage tank atmospheric vents
- Installing/converting gas-driven pumps to electric, mechanical, or solar driven pumps
Gathering and Processing Segment
Since 1993, Gathering and Processing segment Partners have reported reductions totaling 52.9 Bcf. In 2017, Gathering and Processing segment Partners reported 0.8 Bcf of methane emissions reductions through the use of a variety of technologies, such as:
- Capturing methane-containing gas from glycol dehydrators with flash tank separators or replacing glycol dehydrators with methanol injection
- Improving operational efficiency by installing electric compressors to eliminate fugitive emissions
- Installing/converting gas-pressure driven pumps to electric, mechanical, or solar driven pumps
Since 1993, Transmission segment Partners have reported reductions totaling 343.5 Bcf. In 2017, Transmission segment Partners reported 9.1 Bcf of methane emissions reductions through the use of a variety of technologies, such as:
- Reducing emissions from compressors by replacing gas engines with electric motor driven compressors or eliminating oil seal vents on compressors by retrofitting with dry seals
- Using composite wrap to avoid venting non-leaking pipes for repair
- Recovering high pressure gas from pipelines using pump-down techniques and avoiding pipeline venting by making connections to pipelines in service, under pressure, using hot tap connections
Since 1993, Distribution segment Partners have reported reductions totaling 50.9 Bcf. In 2017, Distribution segment Partners reported 1.0 Bcf of methane emissions reductions through the use of a variety of technologies, such as:
- Conducting gas leak inspection surveys and repairing leaks at surface facilities
- Converting from pressurized natural gas powered (pneumatic) controls to compressed air systems
- Reducing emissions from third-party damage (dig-ins) to underground piping by installing excess flow shutoff valves on customer service lines
For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact the Natural Gas STAR team.