The Highwood Bulletin 029

This week’s Highwood Bulletin features methane policy changes in the United States, oil and gas divestment, coal mining emissions detected from space, differentiated gas coverage, new scientific research on methane emissions in the Permian Basin, a study that measures ethane emissions to infer the accuracy of EPA’s GHG inventory, courses for quantifying emissions, webinars, and a methane conference you won’t want to miss.

Trump’s Methane Rule Rollback Officially Overturned

In 2020, former President Donald Trump overturned Obama’s 2016 regulations intended to reduce O&G methane emissions. On June 30th, 2021, Biden signed a bill that repeals Trump’s rollbacks and reinstates Obama’s methane rules. Further methane rules are expected from the EPA in September. Read more in the news here and read the EPA’s Q&A for the O&G industry here.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Ends O&G Investment

On July 1st the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced that it will no longer be investing in O&G exploration and production. The move comes as part of an effort to align with the Paris accord. Only select midstream and downstream projects will receive investment. Read more here.

Methane Detected from Space from Chinese Coal Production

Satellite imagery has revealed a massive methane plume that could be emitting hundreds of tonnes per hour (how much gas is that?!) The giant plume likely comes from a combination of the region’s 34 coal mines. Read more here.

Differentiated Gas is Gaining Momentum

A new article in Reuters explores the rise of responsibly sourced gas and growing interest in certification programs that may generate revenues for companies that can demonstrate lower greenhouse gas emissions. However, challenges remain, particularly around finding end users willing to pay a premium for certified product. Read more here.

Research: Massive Methane Sources in Permian Detected by Satellite

A new study has published methane data from the Permian using satellite imagery from China’s Gaofen-5 (GF5) and ZY1 satellites and Italy’s PRISMA. The study identified 37 methane plumes > 500 kg/h (how much gas is that?!) over just 4 days of observations in 2019 and 2020. It is estimated that these small number of sources account for 31-53% of all emission in the sampled area. Read the study here.

Research: Ethane Measurements Confirm EPA O&G GHG Underestimates

A new study has used ethane measurements to confirm findings from previous research that the US EPA likely underestimates methane emissions from the O&G industry. The authors estimate that methane emissions are actually 48-76% higher than the EPA inventory. Read the paper here or the press coverage here.

Conference: CH4 Connections, Colorado, Oct 12-13

Ready for one of the best methane events of the year? This year Highwood is sponsoring CH4 Connections, hosted in Fort Collins by our friends at Gas Technology Institute (GTI). Don’t miss out on this year’s conference! Register here and see you in Colorado.

Course: Understanding Scope 2 & 3 Emissions (and Scope 1!)

Do you understand Scope 1 emissions and are ready to take your knowledge to the next level? Sign up now for JWN’s Scope 2 & 3 emissions course, hosted by Highwood’s CEO Jessica Shumlich. Register here. If you missed the wildly popular Scope 1 course, we’re offering it again and you can register here.

ICYMI: Taking Credit for Responsibly Sourced Gas Mini Conference

On June 8th, Highwood Emissions Management, in collaboration with Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) and Gas Technology Institute (GTI) hosted an interactive mini conference to explore Highwood’s new report on voluntary emissions reduction initiatives. The event was a hit! If you missed it, you can catch up on all the talks here. Please reach out with any questions or if you need support navigating opportunities in responsibly sourced oil and gas.

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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.