Emissions Management: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once!

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The Highwood Bulletin is our way of sharing what we learn. We publish regular updates on emissions management news, novel research, and special insights from our team of experts and our partners.


Has your boss ever asked you a seemingly “simple” question about the latest emissions trend that turned into an extensive research effort? Maybe a side comment about the Methane Fee, MiQ certification standards or which drone technology is most effective for OGMP 2.0 Level 5 compliance? You’re a confident professional who stays up to date with evolving market trends and has a passionate commitment to GHG emissions reduction…but you can’t know everything, everywhere, all at once! Highwood is here to help!

Thomas Fox, President and Director of Innovation, was featured on the Veriten C.O.B. Tuesday Webinar. His session covered all things emissions: past present and future and we’ve highlighted key takeaways below, because we know you are a busy professional who has a stack of “simple” questions to get through!

Key Takeaways

  • Achieving net-zero natural gas is not a technical challenge, it’s an economic challenge. Highwood can help you focus investment dollars on the LDAR programs and abatement projects unique to your asset portfolio, that yield the greatest returns.
  • Natural gas is a valuable fuel source now and forever and we enable operators to develop this abundant resource in a responsible, cost-effective and pragmatic way.
  • Highwood meets you where you are in your journey and together we will achieve a lower-carbon future!


Motivations for oil and gas companies to pay more attention to emissions (16:18)

  • There is a growing availability of public information. Measured data is often inconsistent with EPA reported emissions and can be up to 10 times higher.
  • Large fugitive emission leaks result in millions of dollars of lost production per year.
  • Regulations are evolving and routine flaring and gas-driven pneumatic controllers and pumps will be prohibited in the coming years.
  • Proposed “Super-Emitter Response Program” will require operators to respond to large methane leaks reported by credible third-party reporters.
  • The IRA Methane Fee is anticipated to be applied to emissions above the methane intensity of 0.02%. Additionally, the emissions inventory will shift from using EPA emissions factors to a yet-to-be defined empirical framework that will leverage measurement to quantify emissions.
    • According to an internal Highwood analysis, over 200 US O&G operators have exposure to the Methane Fee (based on 2021 production levels) and approximately $700MM in fees will be collected in 2024, rising to $1.2B – $6B in 2026 with measurement informed inventory.


The complexity of measuring emissions and the technologies involved (22:53)

  • A source-level measurement meta-analysis, Brandt et al., 2016, ES&T, observed that 50% of emissions come from 5% of sources.
    • Site-level measurement is even more skewed with 80% of emissions coming from 2% of sources
    • This enables cost-effective LDAR and abatement deployment strategies – if you know where to look!
  • The largest measurement campaign in history to be published, Chen et al., Environmental Science & Technology 2022, concluded that approximately 10% of produced natural gas in the New Mexico Permian Basin is lost directly to the atmosphere. This means that measured emissions are up to 6.5 times higher than reported when only using EPA emissions factors.
    • This creates a huge amount of uncertainty for reduction planning and budgeting.
  • There are 200+ commercially available emissions detection technology available today and the market is expected to continue growing.
    • Highwood use LDAR-Sim, an open-source tool, to model a variety of measurement campaigns, considering spatial, temporal and operational variables to optimize site-specific LDAR programs.

How to reduce emissions and get the best value for your spend (31:14)

  • Reduction Pathways a measurement-informed roadmapping tool, can help determine reduction targets, budget requirements and ROI for a variety of abatement strategies.
  • Company specific marginal abatement cost curves (MACC) will prioritize projects that optimize $/ton of CO2e emissions reduction.
  • Leak size and type inform what LDAR and abatement strategies will be most effective.
  • Highwood’s holistic emissions management programs can define the value of LDAR campaigns relative to the value of abatement projects or voluntary initiatives and help you get the biggest bang for your buck!

How to prove emissions reduction and take credit for it (40:55)

Preparing for the future in a rapidly evolving landscape (46:03)

  • Carbon accounting is here to stay!
  • What to expect: carbon accounting & supply chain integration​, reconciliation, measurement-informed inventories​
  • Key challenges: estimation uncertainty​, helping upstream operators of every size implement emissions management programs​, harmonizing standards and regulations​.
  • GTI Veritas is a standardized measurement-informed approach to calculating methane emissions.
  • Level-up
    • This is hard work! Many companies do not know their true emissions.
    • The future requires better data; measurement is key to better decision making.
    • There is opportunity in change; save time, money and good will by acting proactively.
    • Highwood’s tools bring efficiency & assurance​. Our holistic emissions management solutions can keep you ahead of the curve and aware of risks and rewards.​

The Highwood Bulletin is our way of sharing what we learn. We publish regular updates on emissions management news, novel research, and special insights from our team of experts and our partners.

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