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ExxonMobil proposes framework for methane regulations in oil industry


ExxonMobil has proposed a model framework for industry-wide methane regulations urging stakeholders and the government to adopt it.

The framework entails ExxonMobil’s voluntary methane reduction program involving the prioritized replacement of components with a high-leak potential at production sites, technology enhancements to infrastructure and substantial data gathering and research.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation, Darren Woods, said the company has been applying the principles of the framework which has been effective.

In Wood’s words, “ExxonMobil has been applying the principles of this framework to our oil and natural gas operations for several years, resulting in improvements that demonstrate what’s practicable and achievable,”

He added: “We offer this blueprint to companies across our industry as they consider how to make improvements to reduce the sector’s methane emissions. Our industry has developed high-tech advances to curb emissions, and we also hope this framework will be helpful for governments as they develop new regulations,”

More comprehensive than current federal rules, the proposed regulations would apply to new and existing sources. The company has reduced methane emissions from its U.S. unconventional operations by 20 percent since 2016 and remains on track to reach its target of 15 percent reductions across the company.

The framework states that to achieve meaningful reductions in methane emissions, regulations should address and include four primary requirements:

  • Leak detection and repair programs across oil and gas infrastructure
  • Minimization of venting
  • Operational equipment controls
  • Record keeping and reporting to support agency enforcement

ExxonMobil has advocated in the United States for a cost-effective, federal regulatory standard to manage methane emissions from both new and existing oil and natural gas facilities. The company will continue to work constructively with state and federal regulators, industry and non-governmental organizations to develop and implement cost-effective and reasonable methane-emission regulations.

Source Bloomberg
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