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Methane emissions

Natural gas – increasingly decarbonized over time – has a pivotal role to play in getting to net zero. And tackling methane emissions is vital if gas is to play its fullest role in the energy transition. We need to tackle methane emissions fast, and regulations can help

Methane matters

Methane currently accounts for around one-fifth of man-made global greenhouse gas emissions. It has a shorter lifetime in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2), but a greater near-term warming potential. In fact, methane has more than 80 times the warming power of CO2 over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere.

 

But because of methane’s shorter lifetime in the air, reducing new methane emissions could dramatically reduce the rate of warming. So curbing methane emissions from oil and gas can have incredible near-term impacts—both on climate warming and the world’s ability to meet net zero by 2050 or sooner.

 

That’s why bp is taking steps to reduce methane emissions from our operations. We’re aiming for zero routine flaring by 2025 in our US onshore operations and globally by 2030. We’ve already made meaningful progress on methane reductions from our own facilities, with plans to go much further in the next few years. In the US, we’re deploying a variety of methane detection and monitoring technologies to efficiently and effectively address methane emissions.

bp team members working at Grand Slam

Keeping gas in the pipeline is the right thing for the planet and for our business – the more gas we bring to market, the more gas we can sell. Grand Slam, our $300 million centralized processing facility in the Permian Basin, helps us do just that through electrifying and centralizing equipment. We see this as a promising model to replicate across our operations and plan to spend an additional $1 billion on similar infrastructure through 2025.

Direct federal regulation is the right thing to do

Voluntary initiatives alone will not be enough to make the methane emission cuts across our sector that the planet needs. 

 

Regulation has a clear role to play: It’s a fair way to ensure all companies are prioritizing methane abatement. That’s why we support stronger federal methane regulations.

As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops new regulations, we ask that the final rule:

  • Harness the power of innovative technology in leak detection and monitoring
  • Establish a flexible continuous monitoring framework that is outcome-oriented
  • Apply a phased approach for replacing pneumatic controllers at existing sites
  • Utilize a matrixed approach to monitoring fugitive emissions from well sites.
     

Read our full comments to the EPA

An image of a drone flying with drawn methane molecules beside it
bp isn’t waiting for regulation to reduce emissions from our operations. Tackling methane is front and center in bp’s near-term net zero transformation