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Methane emissions and natural gas

Regulating methane will help prevent leaks throughout the industry and protect the environment. That’s why bp supports the direct federal regulation of methane emissions from new and existing sources across the value chain.

 

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.

Supporting direct federal regulation of methane

The EPA is writing a new rule to regulate methane emissions from America's oil and gas production. At bp, we’re all in. We want a strong rule that brings everybody in our industry on board to tackle this potent greenhouse gas. 

 

That’s why we've been asking the EPA to be open to new, better technologies as they’re available. Regulations often pick one solution that exists today and require its use into the future. A rule that embraces innovation is one that supports real climate progress and America’s natural gas industry. It’s a real flex.

 

💡 What is methane gas?

The main component of natural gas, 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.

A group of 6 workers monitoring bp methane emissions at bpx energy's Grand Slam facility.

💡 How is methane being reduced?

At bp, we’re aiming for zero routine flaring by 2025 in our US onshore operations and globally by 2030. And, 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.

Direct federal regulation is the right thing to do

Voluntary initiatives, like Grand Slam, 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.

 

💡 What does reducing methane emissions do?

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 now can have incredible near-term impacts—both on climate warming and the world’s ability to meet net zero by 2050 or sooner.

 

As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops new methane regulations for new, modified, and existing sources in the oil and gas industry, we’re asking 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 and allows for greater technology optionality
  • Apply a phased approach for replacing pneumatic controllers at existing sites
  • Utilize a matrixed approach to monitoring fugitive emissions from well sites
  • Eliminate routine flaring and minimizes non-routine flaring
  • Improve the operational and legal durability of the proposed Super Emitter Response Program
bp currently operates 1,900 wells across approximately 1.5 million acres that the new EPA methane rule will apply to. We aren’t waiting for regulation to reduce emissions from our operations. Tackling methane is front and center in bp’s net zero transformation.
bp’s Mary Streett joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Environmental Defense Fund in a discussion on Lowering Methane Emissions in the Global Gas Industry.

bp statement on the US EPA’s final rule for methane emissions

bp welcomes the finalization of a strong federal methane rule for new, modified and - for the first time - existing sources and congratulates the Administration on this important milestone. 

 

A well-designed rule will help drive material methane emission reductions this decade and beyond. We are pleased to have actively collaborated with the EPA and a diverse group of stakeholders to support the development of strong, durable and well-designed methane regulation. 

 

We look forward to reviewing the final rule and engaging with the EPA on the next phases of implementation.

bp's grand slam facility in Orla, Texas
Methane emissions advocacy activities