Get More Than a Hint of Your Oil and Gas Carbon Footprint
January 16, 2015

Have you ever wondered where you can access the greenhouse gas emissions data that the oil and gas industry reports to the EPA?  

The EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) has been gathering and compiling greenhouse gas (GHG) data from all sectors of the US for several years. This is data required by the GHG reporting rule in 40 CFR Part 98. The data reported includes GHG emissions from different parts of oil and gas operations for calendar years 2010 through 2013. Reported GHG data for the larger facilities (Basin level and individual facilities) is publically available online through the EPA’s Facility Level Information on GreenHouse gases Tool (FLIGHT). From the FLIGHT website you run queries and generate online reports that can be exported into a spreadsheet.

Carbon footprint Greenhouse gases methane reduction oil and gas

A user can also use the FLIGHT tool to view data reports at the Basin level and individual facility level for more detailed information.

The EPA specifically states on the website that the information available through FLIGHT does not reflect total U.S. GHG emissions and is based on data submitted by larger emitters for the reporting years included. Many smaller facilities or data from smaller operators will not be included in FLIGHT. Also EPA states that it will continue to quality assure data and will release updated data periodically.

There are also other EPA GHG datasets available from the EPA’s GHGRP website.

These include the following data:

 Why is the FLIGHT tool important?

  1. Operators have the ability to easily review the GHG data reported for their facilities that the EPA has on file.
  2. The data is publically available to anyone with an internet connection. Expect that the data is reviewed and used by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to set targets for their advocacy work. 
  3. The tool gives policy analysts an idea of the data that EPA is compiling and analyzing to determine what industries and GHG emission source types will be regulated in the near future.  
  4. The EPA is focused on methane emissions from oil and gas operations. A recent annoucement by the White House gave a goal of cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector as much as 45 percent over 2012 levels by 2025. You should want to know what the EPA has on file for your 2012 emissions.

How can industry use the FLIGHT tool?

  1. You can easily review your reported data for accuracy and correct deficiencies. All operators may want to carefully scrutinize their GHG data on file for accuracy and outliers. The EPA wants the data to be accurate and they routinely work with operators to correct data deficiencies. 
  2. You can compare the GHG emissions for your operations to other operators and facilities. 
  3. You can compare your corporate GHG reporting (e.g., Key Performance Indicators, KPI) to what is reported to the EPA. This will help you explain differences in the GHG emissions reported through the various programs other than the EPA’s GHGRP.  
  4. When doing due diligence for an acquisition, an operator can review the GHG data on file for the facilities required to report GHG data. This can help ensure continuity in future GHG reporting for new facilities. 
  5. You can “mine the data” for facilities that are an opportunity to reduce GHG emissions (e.g., methane venting) voluntarily. Ideas for reduce methane emission can be found at the EPA Natural Gas STAR Program’s list of Recommended Technologies and Practices
  6. Use the data to gauge future regulations that could require GHG reductions such as: 
  • Percent reduction of GHGs from a baseline emissions level in a specified year
  • Limit a group of facilities to a specified GHG emissions intensity level (e.g., metrics tons CO2e/barrels of oil equivalent) 
  • Limit GHG emissions from a specific facility or emission source type (e.g., storage tank) to a specified number of metric tons CO2e per year 

HY-BON has the expertise and experience to help your company reduce its methane greenhouse gases and increase profits with its Identify, Quantify and Rectify (IQR) services. Preparing now for future regulations can help in a company’s sustainability and be used in determining your carbon footprint. Call us now to discuss further how HY-BON can help you.