News releases April 9, 2020
ExxonMobil field testing new comprehensive methane monitoring technologies
News releases April 9, 2020
- Industry-leading pilot project evaluates promising next-generation technologies
- Surveys and tests identify the most efficient methods to further reduce emissions
- Real-time data from trials used to reduce methane emissions
The field tests are evaluating effectiveness and scalability of a range of next-generation detection technologies that in addition to satellites use drones, planes, helicopters, ground-based mobile and fixed-position sensors. All technologies and deployment methods will be used to detect leaks and identify potential solutions that can be shared with other oil and gas operators.
“By testing the most promising methane detection technologies in a field environment, we are providing viable solutions that can be adopted by other producers to detect and reduce methane emissions,” said Staale Gjervik, senior vice president of unconventional at ExxonMobil. “We are applying scientific rigor and taking aggressive steps to find commercially scalable and affordable solutions for all operators.”
The technologies are being validated by a combination of field observations, optical gas imaging cameras and portable methane detection instruments. ExxonMobil is also comparing measurements to downwind emissions observations using technology by Aerodyne Research that enables holistic measurement of site emissions.
“We are already seeing the benefits of some of these technologies,” said Gjervik. “Through the trials, we have discovered methane sources that would otherwise not have been detected as efficiently or quickly under the current methods prescribed by regulations. The company is committed to immediately investigating and fixing methane emissions that are detected during the trial.”
The field trials build upon ExxonMobil’s previously announced emission reduction initiatives. As of year-end 2019, the company has reduced emissions by nearly 20 percent in its U.S. unconventional operations compared to 2016 levels, and the company remains on track to meet its corporate-wide commitments to reduce methane emissions by 15 percent and reduce flaring by 25 percent by year-end 2020. ExxonMobil’s successful voluntary methane management program includes structured leak detection and repair protocols, prioritized replacement of high-bleed pneumatic devices, technology enhancements to infrastructure and substantial data gathering and research.
In March, ExxonMobil introduced a model framework for industry-wide methane regulations and urged stakeholders, policymakers and governments to develop comprehensive, enhanced rules to reduce emissions in all phases of production.
The company supports the Methane Guiding Principles, which were signed in 2017 and are being implemented in collaboration with multinational stakeholders.
Since 2000, ExxonMobil has invested nearly $10 billion in projects to research, develop and deploy lower-emission energy solutions. The company also continues to expand collaborative efforts with more than 80 universities around the world to explore next-generation energy technologies.
Following are technologies and technology providers involved in the testing.
Bridger Photonics -- Aerial light detection and ranging sensor (LiDAR) to pinpoint and measure leaks.
Scientific Aviation – Airplanes equipped with sensors, coupled with weather and atmospheric information to measure methane emissions.
Kairos Aerospace – Airplane-mounted methane detection spectrometer with simultaneous optical imagery and geolocation to quickly locate large leaks.
Leak Surveys Inc. – Helicopter-mounted, gas imaging surveys.
SeekOps – Drone-mounted gas sensors to detect and quantify methane emission rates.
GHGSat – Satellite measures methane concentrations, to detect leaks and estimate emission rates.
Truck Mounted Monitor
mAIRsure – Truck-mounted autonomous sensors measure methane emissions.
Troposphere -- Stationary methane and wind sensors continuously monitor for emissions.
ExxonMobil, one of the largest publicly traded international energy companies, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is one of the largest refiners and marketers of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world. To learn more, visit exxonmobil.com and the Energy Factor.
Cautionary Statement: Statements that reference future events or conditions in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual future results, including project plans and outcomes may differ significantly depending on changes in long-term oil or gas prices and other market or economic factors that affect the petroleum industry; the timely completion and the results of future exploration programs; reservoir performance; unexpected technical difficulties or other technical or operating factors; the actions of governmental authorities or regulatory agencies, including obtaining necessary permits and approvals; the outcome of commercial negotiations; and other factors listed under the heading “Factors Affecting Future Results” on the Investor page at the ExxonMobil website at www.exxonmobil.com and in Item 1A of ExxonMobil’s most recent Form 10-K.
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