Air Quality and GHG Commitment
Anadarko is committed to responsible environmental stewardship. We implement industry-leading practices and technology, while continually looking for innovative ways to minimize the overall environmental impacts of our activities, including the reduction of greenhouse gases, including methane, through engineering design and process improvement.
These activities are not only prudent as a responsible operator but also reduce potential impacts of climate change. For more detail on our climate change strategy, please visit: Climate Change.
As part of our commitment to minimizing our environmental impact, Anadarko formed the GHG and Air Quality Committee, which reports to the Board of Director’s Governance and Risk Committee, to organize, evaluate and take action on air quality and GHG issues.
Air-Quality and GHG-Reduction Initiatives
The technologies discussed below are a small sample of existing technologies that reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gases, including methane.
Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR)
Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) is employed at all U.S. Onshore facilities operated by Anadarko. Audio, Visual and Olfactory (AVO) inspections and forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera surveys are the two main methodologies for identifying leaks at U.S. Onshore facilities where the leaks are subsequently repaired.
AVO inspections are surveys conducted to inspect facilities and perform tasks including:
- listening for pressurized leaks or liquid leaks (Audio),
- looking for drips from equipment, wet spots in soil, actively scanning for indications where a potential gas leak may be occurring (Visual), and
- smelling where there may be unusual or strong odors (Olfactory).
The FLIR camera technology falls under the category of optical gas imaging device technology and allows Anadarko to detect hydrocarbons, including methane that cannot be seen with the human eye. FLIR cameras are employed for tasks such as commissioning of new facilities, maintenance of existing facilities, and adhering to regulated and voluntary LDAR programs implemented to repair and document leaks. The facilities are surveyed with the cameras to quickly identify leaks. The following are examples of state specific programs and activities.
Colorado and Texas LDAR Programs
2007: Anadarko purchased FLIR cameras and implemented a voluntary program to inspect and repair leaks at all production facilities (e.g.: tank batteries); Anadarko began conducting AVO inspections weekly for all facilities subject to Colorado Regulation No. 7 volatile organic compound (VOC) tank control requirements.
- 2011-2014: Due to accelerated facility growth and subsequent limited FLIR camera availability, the FLIR program began to focus on production facilities with:
- sensitive environmental locality
- larger facilities with higher-than-average fugitive component counts
- greater oil and natural gas production rates
- 2015: All facilities utilize a combination of AVO inspections and FLIR camera surveys to meet and exceed Colorado regulatory requirements; Starting at this time through the present, all locations are surveyed annually up to monthly with the FLIR camera.
- 2011: Anadarko purchased FLIR cameras.
- 2012: Anadarko implemented a voluntary LDAR program where we inspected and repaired leaks at midstream (e.g., central production facilities and compressor stations) and production facilities with the FLIR camera on a monthly basis at central gathering facilities and central production facilities.
- 2014: Anadarko began conducting AVO inspections monthly for all facilities subject to the U.S. EPA NSPS Subpart OOOO storage vessel affected facility requirements.
- 2017: All new midstream and production facilities are inspected with a FLIR camera semi-annually up-to monthly to meet EPA’s LDAR regulatory requirements.
All U.S. Onshore States
- 2018: One hundred percent of our U.S .Onshore facilities in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Texas and New Mexico are inspected with a FLIR camera at least annually and up to monthly through regulation and implementation of The Environmental Partnership voluntary program.
For both regulatory and voluntary LDAR programs, Anadarko attempts to repair and subsequently rescreen an identified leak at the time of detection. If a repair cannot be successfully completed, the subsequent attempt, less any infeasibility exceptions, is completed within five to 30 days. Where a leak is not immediately repaired, the FLIR camera is utilized to rescreen the leak after the repair has been completed. The leak is repaired when the FLIR camera shows no indication of visible emissions.
Anadarko conducts HSE air quality training with operations employees and applicable contractors annually to review LDAR methodologies such as AVO inspections and FLIR cameras.
Anadarko identifies specific individuals who conduct FLIR camera surveys and requires training for all operators of the camera. Individuals are provided official FLIR training that includes certification testing and hands-on video testing. As an alternative, Anadarko offers employees computer-based training and/or in-person FLIR camera training to successfully utilize FLIR cameras for identifying leaks.
The FLIR camera operators are provided additional HSE training regarding leak detection, recordkeeping, reporting, repair, and rescreening to confirm successful repairs. Training is conducted to meet or exceed regulatory programs or voluntary standards.
Depending on the regulation, annual reports are submitted to state and/or federal agencies. For voluntary programs, annual reports are submitted to the organization managing the program. Each state and federal report is available for public consumption. For voluntary programs, the managing organization releases the aggregate company data for public consumption.
Anadarko’s air quality programs currently require that if a high-bleed pneumatic device is identified it is evaluated for operational feasibility. If it is deemed safe to proceed, it is replaced with an intermittent, low, no-bleed, or air-driven device, with lower or no emissions.
In 2018, Anadarko committed to evaluating and replacing one-hundred percent of high-bleed devices through The Environmental Partnership voluntary program. While the program holds us to this commitment by January 2023, we are working diligently to exceed this goal, being mindful that safety is a priority.
Instrument air-driven pneumatic controllers have been incorporated into many facilities and are planned for widespread use in the future. Peer-reviewed studies indicate these controllers reduce emissions associated with control valves previously operated with produced gas. When instrument air is not present and process conditions allow, a program has been implemented to ensure high-bleed devices are not installed.
Wattenberg’s Bulk Separator
Anadarko continuously works to improve tank battery design to minimize impact to the environment. Anadarko uses Lease Automatic Custody Transfer (LACT) units to sell produced hydrocarbons through pipelines as opposed to relying on oil haulers to bring them to the marketplace. Improving tank battery design can reduce the potential for emissions from tank thief thatches, piping and relief valves. These potential emissions are instead recovered and sold directly from a pressurized “Bulk Separator.”
Anadarko is continuing work to remove potential venting from facility design by directly routing natural gas, oil and water to gathering pipelines.
Delaware’s Tankless Facilities
Delaware Basin is developing a robust infrastructure that supports oil, water and gas gathering. Through continuous improvement, Anadarko is evolving away from the typical production (wellsite) facility design toward a tankless production facility design as the company has implemented throughout its DJ Basin operations.
The typical production facility is engineered with multiple separators, tanks and flares and is built to facilitate truck unloading activities. A tankless facility leaves only a separator and pumps to gather product from the wellhead and transport it into a gathering system. The tankless design reduces air emissions by utilizing air-driven pneumatic devices, electric driven compressors for gas lift and providing for a closed-loop system that greatly reduces potential venting and flaring activities.
Finally, the design change improves safety by eliminating the need for water or oil haulers to be onsite, taking trucks off the road further reducing emissions and the potential for vehicle accidents.
When Anadarko does not yet have the infrastructure to capture natural gas using gathering pipelines, we flare gas as required under applicable air quality regulatory programs to minimize the environmental impact.
When Anadarko flares gas, rather than venting, flaring effectively reduces methane by converting it to carbon dioxide (CO2). As outlined in EPA’s GHGRP, methane has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 25, while CO2 has a GWP of one. By flaring methane, Anadarko is converting methane to CO2, reducing the GWP from 25 to one.
Drilling and Completions
Dual-fuel engine technologies are evaluated and utilized to reduce emissions during drilling and completions operations. Additionally, green completions minimize flaring by allowing wellhead streams to be routed to production facilities and associated gas gathering systems earlier in the completion phase.
Wattenberg’s “Water on Demand” system transports water via pipeline systems to drilling and completions sites. This practice also removes trucks from the road, lowering emissions and reducing the potential for vehicle accidents.
Where the gathering infrastructure isn’t feasible, the bulk separator or tankless designs described above cannot be applied. In those cases, Anadarko has developed tank designs that control flash gas and vapors with control devices such as flares and enclosed combustion devices (ECDs).
Anadarko’s new tank batteries are designed to minimize flash from separation vessels, using multiple levels of separators and vapor recovery towers. The facilities are designed with systems that recover both flash gas and vapors with vapor recovery units. The remaining tanks that receive low pressure-oil, are equipped with control devices such as flares and ECDs to enhance safety and reduce emissions when additional recovery options are not available or feasible.
Engineering and Maintenance Practices
Equipment operated by Anadarko is engineered and designed to industry accepted guidelines. During the installation phase, checklists are utilized to ensure that equipment is installed per design. While in operation, the equipment is subject to scheduled preventative maintenance according to industry best practices and manufacturer recommendations to ensure mechanical integrity throughout its service life and prevent or mitigate leaks.
One advantage of being an upstream and midstream company, is that Anadarko’s standard practice is to build the infrastructure to capture the gas from our exploration and production (E&P) facilities and transport the gas via pipeline to our midstream gathering and compression facilities. This inherently mitigates flaring and venting practices from our operations.
Alternative and Solar Energy Utilization
Greater utilization of electricity at new production facilities has also reduced emissions by removing gas-driven pneumatic devices and gas-driven compression. Anadarko systematically evaluates the technical feasibility of replacing natural gas-driven engines with electrical motors on pumping units, vapor recovery units and flash gas compressors.
Use of solar electric pumps in lieu of pneumatic chemical injection pumps has also helped reduce wellhead emissions.
Summary of Practices to Reduce GHG (including Methane) and Air Emissions
One-hundred percent of Anadarko's facilities are subject to voluntary, state or federal fugitive component leak monitoring through AVO or FLIR camera inspection methodologies, on a monthly to annual basis
Broad usage of FLIR camera technology for performing leak monitoring and identifying repairs during the commissioning of facilities and equipment
- Installation of plunger lift, submersible pumps, and gas recovery system to reduce vented methane
- Reduced-emission completions at all natural gas and oil wells
- Solar-powered pumps to replace gas-fired pneumatic pumps
- Use of natural gas and low-emission diesel to power well pad operations
- Use of “Bi-Fuel” or “dual fuel” fracs that replace up to 70 percent of the diesel fuel used to power completion equipment with liquefied natural gas (LNG)
- Converting nearly 450 vehicles (approximately 20 percent of its fleet) across our U.S. operating areas to natural gas vehicles
- Commitment to the replacement of high-bleed controllers with low-bleed or no-bleed controllers at existing facilities
- Replacement of dated and less-efficient compressors
- Increased usage of pipelines and water-management programs that eliminate truck traffic and their associated emissions
- One-hundred percent of Anadarko's facilities are subject to voluntary, state or federal fugitive monitoring through AVO or FLIR camera inspection methodologies
Air-Quality and GHG Reporting
Since 2005, Anadarko has annually reported greenhouse gas, including methane, data and additional comprehensive information regarding our carbon-management strategies and actions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Anadarko has also previously participated in EPA’s Natural Gas STAR program, The Climate Registry and the American Carbon Registry.
U.S. EPA GHG Reporting
In 2010, the U.S. EPA issued its final Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP). Under the GHGRP, greenhouse gases, including methane, are calculated using the agency-documented methodologies. The reported greenhouse gases are in units of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) as defined in in the GHGRP. Certain gases like methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are converted to CO2e by multiplying the emissions by the corresponding global warming potential (GWP) outlined in the program. The GHGRP’s GWP for CO2 is one, CH4 is 25 and for N2O is 298.
In order to calculate greenhouse gases in the total units of CO2e gases, a mixture of indirect and direct measurements are utilized. Indirect measurements combine GHG source counts, U.S. EPA-provided emissions factors, and basin-specific GHG compositions. Direct measurements are often obtained by installing temporary or permanent meters. The meter-measured results are then combined with the basin-specific GHG compositions.
At the start of the program, Anadarko began reporting GHGs for select stationary combustion facilities, GHGs in exploration and production basins, and GHGs of supplied natural gas and natural gas liquids that met the reporting threshold. In 2016, the EPA finalized changes to the GHGRP to include the reporting of gathering and boosting operations. Gathering and boosting operations are defined as the gathering pipelines and other equipment used to collect gas from onshore production gas or oil wells and used to compress, dehydrate, sweeten, or transport the gas to a natural gas processing facility.
For each of our Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Onshore operating areas, Anadarko’s reported annual greenhouse gases, including methane, are publicly available on the EPA’s flight website.
Required Air-Quality Reporting
Air-quality requirements cover all aspects and stages of oil and natural gas operations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) implements the federal Clean Air Act (CAA). States have their own rules and have been delegated implementation authority by U.S. EPA for many federal air-quality regulations.
The following are several examples of federal air-quality regulations that apply to Anadarko’s operations:
- The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are established by the U.S. EPA for criteria pollutants (ozone, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, carbon dioxide, and lead). States are required to develop State Implementation Plans (SIP) to attain and maintain NAAQS in all areas. Within an SIP, states may develop emission limitations for types of sources, including oil and natural gas operations. States also incorporate industry-specific air-permitting programs within SIPs.
- The federal CAA requires U.S. EPA to develop requirements for sectors, including the oil and natural gas industry, to control the amount of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) emitted from facilities.
- The CAA also regulates “new or modified sources” under the New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) program. There are nine standards that currently apply to upstream oil and natural gas operations.
In addition to the federal requirements, states implement regulatory programs that include reporting, monitoring, permitting and control requirements.
The Environmental Partnership
Anadarko is a founding member of The Environmental Partnership, which includes more than 25 natural gas and oil producers. Participating companies will begin implementing the developed voluntary programs targeted at reducing emissions from a significant portion of the participating companies’ American energy resources.
As of Jan. 1, 2018, Anadarko has begun implementing all three Environmental Performance Programs:
- Leak Program for Natural Gas and Oil Production Sources
- Program to Replace, Remove or Retrofit High-Bleed Pneumatic Controllers
- Program for Manual Liquids Unloading for Natural Gas Production Sources
Recognizing that technology is key to reducing GHGs, including methane, and improving Air Quality, Anadarko has participated in several multi-stakeholder studies. Described below are a sample set of other studies or initiatives Anadarko has voluntarily participated in.
In 2013, Anadarko supported the State of Colorado’s development of the first-of-its-kind air regulations to reduce methane leaks.
Anadarko has participated in studies directed by the University of Texas (UT) and Colorado State University (CSU) in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and other industry representatives.
University of Texas – Production Sector Methane Study
The initial study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2013, conducted the first documented direct measurements at well completion sites and found that GHG emissions were 97 percent lower than previously estimated by the EPA during this phase of development.
The second study, published in Articles in Environmental Science & Technology in 2014, conducted additional direct-source measurements of liquids unloading events and pneumatic controllers, finding that a small subset of sources account for the majority of GHG emissions.
Colorado State University – Gathering and Processing Study
This study, published in Articles in Environmental Science & Technology in 2014, conducted atmospheric methane measurements from gathering and processing facilities. The study results indicate that 101 of the 130 facilities had methane loss rates below one percent of the methane flowing through those facilities. A companion paper, published in Articles in Environmental Science & Technology in 2015, modeled and compared measurement results to estimates made by the Environmental Protection Agency, finding a methane loss rate of 0.47 percent for all U.S. gathering and processing operations.
Methane Detectors Challenge
Anadarko continues to work with EDF and other industry partners in the Methane Detectors Challenge, aimed at identifying next-generation technologies that will improve methane emissions monitoring from oil and natural gas operations. This collaboration attracted 20 proposals from companies and university research teams, from which five innovations have been selected to advance. We look forward to testing these promising technologies in the field and using these innovations and others to improve our operational performance and further control and reduce our emissions.