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Methane measurement approach

Our Aim 4 is to install methane measurement at all our existing major oil and gas processing sites by 2023, publish the data, and then drive a 50% reduction in methane intensity of our operations
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Measurement under Aim 4

We will deliver methane measurement by establishing a hierarchy of measurement approaches and have established a new methane intensity target of 0.20% by 2025 using that measurement approach.


With technology for methane detection and quantification evolving at pace, a flexible approach allows us to take advantage of advancements and move towards increased continuous site level measurement systems as more advanced technology becomes available.  Continuous site level measurement takes primacy in our measurement hierarchy as shown in the table below.

bp’s methane measurement hierarchy

Hierarchy of methane measurement Measurement strategy Example technology solutions
Continuous site or source(s) quantification where > 95% methane covered
Add quantification of fugitives, leaks and vents if needed Quantitative image processing
plus all activities under Tier B Sensor networks
Vent monitoring
Continuous quantification at source level where 80-95% emissions covered
Fuel metering and emissions tracking Predictive emissions monitoring
High accuracy flare metering and efficiency measurements Continuous emissions monitoring
Predictive flare control algorithms
Measured flare efficiency
In-line gas analyzers
High accuracy flare metering
Continuous site level detection
High sensitivity monitoring Permanently installed cameras
Permanently installed sensors
Source reporting methodologies using specific emission factors
Systemized metering and site observations
Leak detection cameras
Fuel and flare metering
Source reporting methodologies using generic emission factors
De minimis methane emissions



Assets using measurement at Tier B and below will also need to deploy remote measurement technologies involving a statistically representative data set to characterize site-level emissions such as via drones, aircraft, satellites.

Technology readiness – which means proven, reliable and accurate for the proposed usage – and cost effectiveness will remain factors for consideration at all levels in our hierarchy.

As site level continuous measurement solutions will take time to develop and implement across bp, the hierarchy also utilises remote quantification technologies for Tier B and below, which can be deployed periodically by aircraft, drones or satellites. This will be undertaken on a statistically representative basis across bp’s global in-scope operations to confirm that the frequency, location and technologies are suitable.


In implementing the hierarchy, a site or facility would first look for solutions in Tier A. If this is deemed not to be feasible or efficient, Tier B would be considered. Decision making will be documented and this process would continue for Tiers C to E as required. Tier E will be limited to sites with both low levels of reported methane emissions and little potential for such emissions.


The percentages shown in the Tiers relate to our 2019 reported methane emissions from in-scope sites.