News | September 21, 2023

API Releases Methane Action Plan Highlighting Industry Actions, Key Policy Priorities For Effectively Reducing Methane Emissions

The American Petroleum Institute (API) today released the Methane Action Plan, a policy “MAP” for driving methane emissions reductions across the energy supply chain. The MAP outlines the actions that the U.S. natural gas and oil industry is already taking to reduce emissions, including through programs like The Environmental Partnership, and provides a blueprint for policymakers to craft regulations that effectively reduce methane emissions without sacrificing energy security and reliability.

“The United States is a global leader in energy production and emissions reductions, and thanks to innovation and concerted industry action, average methane emissions intensity declined by nearly 66 percent across all seven major producing regions from 2011 to 2021,” said API Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs Dustin Meyer. “Tackling methane emissions is an urgent challenge, but the men and women of the U.S. natural gas and oil industry have the ingenuity, dedication and know-how to meet this challenge while continuing to power our daily lives.”

Through The Environmental Partnership’s focus on facility design, innovative technology, and operational practices, Partnership members are:

  1. Reducing flaring through facility design, takeaway capacity planning and alternative beneficial use.
  2. Replacing, removing or retrofitting high-bleed pneumatic controllers with low- or zero-emitting devices.
  3. Monitoring manual liquids unloading to minimize emissions by ensuring all wellhead vents are closed to atmosphere.
  4. Minimizing compressor emissions by implementing design and operation changes.
  5. Detecting and repairing leaks through regular component inspections.
  6. Minimizing pipeline blowdown emissions through operational changes prioritizing alternative beneficial use of gas that would otherwise be vented.

“Alongside industry action, effective regulations also have a role to play in meeting this challenge,” Meyer continued. “API supports the cost-effective direct regulation of methane for new and existing sources across the supply chain, and we are committed to working with regulators to establish policies that promote technological innovation and build on the progress industry has made to reduce emissions.”

The MAP outlines key pillars for effective methane regulation across the federal government, as well as API’s priorities for a durable, cost-effective, technically feasible final Methane Rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

API is advocating for a final EPA Methane Rule that:

  1. Fully leverages the capabilities of advanced detection technologies,
  2. Positions EPA to actively manage the Super-Emitter Response Program,
  3. Allows the responsible use of flaring where necessary due to infeasibility of alternatives,
  4. Adopts a flexible approach to pneumatic controllers and pumps,
  5. Establishes reasonable compliance timelines based on the applicability date of EPA’s 2022 Supplemental Proposal,
  6. Maintains a definition of “legally and practically enforceable limits” consistent with the principles of cooperative federalism, and
  7. Applies work practice standards to applicable sources while streamlining requirements for record-keeping and reporting.

View the API Methane Action Plan here.

View API’s comments on EPA’s proposed rule here.

About The American Petroleum Institute (API)
API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than 11 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our approximately 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 800 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.

Source: The American Petroleum Institute (API)