BP’s Lower 48 Onshore Natural Gas Production Achieves 100% Certification

BP plc’s Lower 48 onshore subsidiary BPX Energy Inc. has become the first U.S. major to certify the methane intensity of its entire natural gas production portfolio, according to nonprofit MiQ.

Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) that accounts for about 20% of anthropogenic GHG emissions globally, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

MiQ currently certifies about 4% of the global gas market and 17% of U.S. gas production.

Its certification of BPX Energy operations began in the Haynesville Shale. The certification now includes natural gas facilities in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin.

“When we launched our certified natural gas pilot with MiQ in 2021, we endeavored to lead in this space,” said BPX CEO Dave Lawler. The latest announcement “makes clear we are serious about achieving our ambition. MiQ certification provides the market with clear, transparent and verifiable data that highlight how BPX is committed to operating assets with low methane intensity.”

The certification process includes independent review of each facility by auditors accredited by MiQ to verify methane intensity of natural gas operations. “Leveraging data from this process enables ongoing, measured performance and helps the company assess where best to invest capital and continue to improve asset performance,” according to MiQ.

Verification of methane intensity is increasingly becoming a prerequisite for global liquefied natural gas offtakers. Producers, in turn, are redoubling efforts to reduce and certify their emissions.

“Before MiQ launched, there was no transparency on which natural gas producers were prioritizing the reduction of methane from their operations,” said MiQ CEO Georges Tijbosch. “This move from BPX represents a seminal step forward for the industry and gives BPX and its customers full transparency on methane emissions.” 

It’s not only overseas buyers looking to use certified natural gas.

BP last month secured a deal to supply 2.2 Bcf/d of certified natural gas to fertilizer giant CF Industries Holdings Inc. “The independent, transparent and third party-audited process to validate lower methane emissions intensity ensures that we are genuinely achieving Scope 3 emissions reductions from purchasing certified natural gas,” said CF CEO Tony Will.

U.S. gas utilities, under pressure to meet net zero targets, also are looking to certified gas as a way to reduce their overall emissions profile.

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Author: Andrew Baker