BP and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a leading international nonprofit organization based in New York, announced on Wednesday a three-year strategic commitment to advance technologies and practices to reduce methane emissions from the global oil and gas supply chain.
According to the joint statement, the agreement enables collaboration on projects that test technologies and emerging strategies to continue to improve methane management.
"Working with universities and third party experts, the initiative has the potential for broad applicability to help the entire oil and gas industry significantly reduce this potent greenhouse gas," it said.
Methane has a shorter lifetime in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, but it has a higher global warming potential - 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide during its first 20 years in the atmosphere.
According to the press release, EDF will not receive any funding from BP, consistent with EDF's strict policy prohibiting receipt of funds from energy companies and corporate collaborators. Rather, BP and EDF will work to identify third-party analytical and technological demonstration projects, and BP will assist with funding.
The collaboration will also facilitate industry dialogue about the best practices to monitor and reduce emissions, with EDF providing input on science, technology and policy.
As part of the collaboration, BP granted up to $500,000 to a multi-stakeholder research initiative led by Colorado State University that will improve the pathways to regulatory acceptance for emerging methane detection and quantification technologies.
In addition, EDF and BP will scope and announce a digitalization project for methane that will harness innovation that improves operations and reduces emissions. Results and key learnings will be publicized to maximize environmental and industry benefits.
BP and EDF will also jointly collaborate on projects aimed at increasing the understanding of joint ventures, identifying best practices and potential opportunities for reducing methane emissions in non-operated assets.
The parties will, in 2019, convene a workshop to learn about practices for emission reductions at non-operated assets and to identify potential opportunities to expand the coverage of methane efforts and commitments.
"BP is taking a leading role in addressing methane emissions, and this collaboration with EDF is another important step forward for us and for our industry," said Bernard Looney, BP's Upstream chief executive.
"We've made great progress driving down emissions across our own business, including meeting our industry-leading methane intensity target of 0.2 percent, but there is much more work to do and partnering with the committed and capable team at EDF will help us develop and share best practices," he added.
By Hale Turkes