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Six questions for our Methane Emissions Reduction expert

Published May 28, 2019

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For a long time, energy efficiency and energy conservation have been the clear focus of energy advocacy, but climate change has forced a wider, increasingly ambitious scope. Whether industries and governments are seeking solutions to methane regulation, methane emissions management, greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction or carbon offsets, our Methane Emissions Reduction (MER) solutions may hold the answers. We asked Fern Maas, Senior Program Consultant, to clear the air and explain emissions reduction solutions to us—what they are, who they benefit and what they look like.

CLEAResult: In a nutshell, what are Methane Emissions Reduction (MER) solutions?

Fern: MER solutions are cost-effective market transformation programs that help jurisdictions meet their emissions reduction commitments through targeted technology deployment. For example, the Paris Agreement aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40-45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025—MER solutions will help to achieve these goals.

MER solutions help to accelerate achievement of emissions reduction, prepare smaller companies for regulation—who often don’t have the capital to proactively prepare for pending regulations—and fosters faster, broader adoption of emissions reduction technologies.

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How do MER solutions do that?

MER solutions support the identification and deployment of cost-effective methane mitigation technologies to reduce emissions from oil and gas facilities. Preferred MER solutions have quick implementation timelines using proven, commercially available technology. Reducing methane emissions has additional benefits such as more natural gas being available for sales, boosting participant revenue and competitiveness.

Who benefits from MER solutions? Who will be the target audience for these programs?

The target audiences for MER solutions are the oil and gas industry, and the governing bodies that regulate them. Additionally, society at large benefits from these solutions by achieving jurisdictional emission reduction goals, without painful lifestyle changes.

The easiest wins and biggest GHG reduction opportunities are found within the oil and gas industry. For example, one MER solution project can have similar GHG reduction benefits of taking 100-plus vehicles off the road, without the necessary lifestyle changes for dozens of individuals.

How do MER solutions impact the oil and gas industry and their governing bodies?

With GHG reduction commitments being made at many levels of government, meeting these commitments can have a wide range of impacts—from increased efficiency, decreased operational costs and enhanced energy security. GHG reduction commitments also have performance impacts—like standards and structures for future policies across various supply chains in the oil and gas industry based on established best industry practices. And MER solutions ensure that utilizing natural gas as an energy source is less climate-intensive than its substitutes, namely diesel, gasoline and coal.

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MER solutions have better economics compared to other GHG reduction options, and GHG reductions can be averaged over the entire jurisdiction, lessening the burden on other industrial, commercial and residential sectors. Also, jobs will be created in the services and emissions reduction technology sectors.

What are some examples of measures or reductions relevant to MER solutions?

One MER program funded facility visits combining Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) surveys with Baseline Opportunity Assessments (BOA); BOA consisted of detailed site inventory of all venting equipment. The LDAR portions of these visits yielded quick GHG reductions from fixing identified leaks, while the BOA provided a wide breadth and solid depth of potential emission reduction projects to be implemented by the facility owners.

Examples of potential projects identified by the BOA included: vapour recovery units (VRUs) to capture methane venting from tanks, switching from fuel gas to instrument air to power pneumatic controllers, right-sizing oversized dehydrator glycol pumps, etc. In 2018, capital MER projects yielded an average lifetime abatement cost of under $4/tonne CO2e.

What’s CLEAResult’s value proposition in taking MER solutions to market?

Our most notable added values are our established relationships, our infrastructure, our program design and delivery expertise that crosses jurisdictional boudaries. CLEAResult has recognized relationships with technology providers, industry associations, regulators and oil and gas production companies. Our program delivery infrastructure and implementation history make program launch and operation quick and cost-effective, with a scalable and repeatable program design backed by strong subject matter experts.

We have Western Canadian expertise, and we’re the only provider in North America with experience delivering MER programming.

Thanks for your insights, Fern.

MER solutions can be a critical step forward in a jurisdiction’s road to compliance. Learn more about how CLEAResult can meet your specific needs by contacting [email protected], Director of Strategy and Market Development.

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