The Highwood Bulletin 020

This week features updates on global greenhouse gas concentrations, methane policy developments in the U.S., a plan to clean up abandoned/orphaned wells, a new non-profit media outlet focused on the energy transition, the first-ever alternative LDAR AMEL, and exciting new research and funding opportunities.

Highwood is hiring!

We’re growing and looking to welcome two motivated, positive, and forward-looking members to our team. Highwood is seeking an Emissions Analyst and a Data Scientist. Check out the posting to learn more.

Global Methane and Carbon Dioxide Concentrations are Higher than Ever

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that global average 2020 concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane – the two most important human-caused greenhouse gases – were higher than ever before. For methane, the annual increase of 14.7 ppb observed in 2020 was the largest jump ever recorded since measurements began in 1983. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have not been this high in 3.6 million years – a time when average sea levels were 78 feet higher than today, and arctic tundra was covered in forests. Read more here.

Michael Regan: Biden’s Methane Rules to be Stricter than Obama’s

In an interview last week, EPA Chief Michael Regan spoke to anticipated methane rules, saying: “There’s a lot of room to be more ambitious because the markets have evolved, the technology has evolved, and companies now understand the urgency and are more willing to discuss that today than they were previously.” New 2030 climate targets are expected to be announced on or before April 22nd. Read more here.

Canary Media Launched by RMI

Canary Media, a new media outlet by RMI, will provide independent energy journalism covering all things related to the energy transition. The Editor-at-Large will be David Roberts, previously of Vox and Grist. Read the press release here and check out Canary media here.

ExxonMobil Submits First Ever Alternative LDAR Application to EPA

While Alt-FEMPs in Alberta are becoming increasingly common, alternative LDAR approvals in the U.S. have been slower to get going. That could change now that ExxonMobil has submitted the first ever application to the U.S. EPA for an “Alternate Means of Emissions Limitations”. If approved, the new program will monitor methane emissions using gas-mapping LiDAR surveys by Bridger Photonics. Read more here.

Legislation: Democrat Bill Seeks $8 Billion for Abandoned Wells

Democratic lawmakers have introduced an $8 billion bill that would bankroll the plugging and reclamation of abandoned oil and gas wells across the U.S. Note on terminology: “Abandoned wells” in the U.S. are called “orphaned wells” in Canada. Read more about the proposed bill here.

Bill Whitelaw: ESG Advice from Ancient Greeks

Don’t miss Bill Whitelaw’s recent piece in JWN on the importance of storytelling and grassroots communication. We have all heard of ESG, but have you heard about EPL (Ethos, Pathos and Logos)? Read the article here to learn about the role we can all play in disclosure of ESG achievements.

Research: Blind Testing of Aerial Hyperspectral Imaging

Researchers from Stanford University have evaluated Kairos Aerospace aerial hyperspectral imaging system in single-blind trials. Experiments showed that Kairos could reliably detect 100% of sources above 15 kg/h of methane per m/s of wind (how much gas is that?!) The study also evaluated quantification error, which was approximately 30-40% of emission rates. Read the study here.

Research: Aquatic Ecosystems Account for Half of Global Methane

A new study published in Nature Geoscience suggests that human-made aquatic ecosystems are a major – and highly variable – source of atmospheric methane. Estimates suggest that aquatic ecosystems account for an average of 53% of total methane emissions from all sources (human and natural combined). Read the study here.

Funding: ARPA-E Announces $35MM for Methane Technology

A new $35MM research program called Reducing Emissions of Methane Every Day of the Year (REMEDY) is seeking solutions that target methane emissions from gas-fired lean-burn engines, flares, and coal mine ventilation. Click here to learn more about the funding.

Employment: Climate Job Board Resource

Looking for work? Want to help solve climate change? Check out the climate change job vacancies board by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) by clicking here.

Course: Scope 1 Emissions from the Oil and Gas Industry

Are you an oil and gas professional interested in learning how to inventory, quantify, and report Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions? Need professional development credits? We have just the right course for you, designed and delivered by Highwood Emissions Management CEO Jessica Shumlich. Click here to learn more and to register.

Sign up for the Highwood Bulletin

At Highwood, we’re committed to learning. 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.

Download the 2021 Voluntary Initiatives Report

A growing number of voluntary emissions reduction initiatives exist for companies that want to demonstrate leadership to investors, end users, and the public. But the space is noisy; how initiatives compare, and the benefits of participation remain unclear. To shed light on these matters, Highwood has published this report.