BP deploys continuous methane measurement for oil and gas projects

w660 10981273 bpmmethanedrone.jpg.img.3840.mediumOil industry company BP has announced that it will deploy continuous measurement of methane emissions in its future BP-operated oil and gas processing projects

Continuous measurement, including instruments such as gas cloud imaging (GCI), will be rolled out to all new major projects worldwide. It will be coupled with the use of drones fitted with lasers and “sniffers,” hand-held devices and multi-spectral flare combustion cameras.

According to the company’s statement, the technology has also been tested and installed in existing facilities such as BP’s giant natural gas Khazzan field in Oman.

The data generated will help BP identify the largest opportunities to tackle methane emissions, drive efficiency and develop best practice – and aims at delivering and improving on BP’s methane intensity target of 0.2 per cent from its upstream operations.

The deployment of this technology represents a major step-change in the oil and gas industry, as historically, engineering calculations and emission factors have played an important part in quantifying emissions. BP anticipates that inspections that used to take seven days will now be able to take 30 minutes.

Gordon Birrell, BP’s chief operating officer for production, transformation and carbon, said, “For gas to play its fullest role in the energy transition, we have to keep it in the pipe. This new technology will help us do that by detecting methane emissions in real time. The faster and more accurately, we can identify and measure leaks, the better we can respond and, informed by the data collected, work to prevent them.”

In time, the data collected will feed information into an extensive digital cloud network as part of a global integrated approach to reduce both methane and carbon emissions.

BP recently announced its Upstream Carbon Fund – US$100mn of funding for selected emission reduction projects to deliver new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions in BP’s existing upstream oil and gas operations. By the end of 2018, BP generated 2.5mn tonnes of sustainable GHG emissions reductions throughout its businesses.

Earlier this year, BP confirmed a three-year partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a New York-based non-profit environmental advocacy group, aimed at developing further technologies to detect and prevent methane leaks.

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