Methane & Climate
By joining the EPA Natural Gas Star Program in 2017, Antero expanded our commitment to evaluating methane reduction opportunities by joining, implementing methane reduction projects where feasible, and reporting reductions of methane emissions per unit of production to the EPA every year. We also report our yearly greenhouse gas emissions as a rate per production and our methane leak rate. Our methane emissions are based on engineering calculations, modeling, and emission factors as specified by EPA Greenhouse Gas reporting.
Antero’s GHG emissions intensity dropped in 2016 from 2015 despite an increase in production. Antero’s methane leak rate is well below the target standard of 1%.
Our engineering, operations and environmental personnel are currently reviewing methane measurement techniques that can accurately determine pneumatic-controller emissions and leak rates. We switched to more durable Viton gaskets, which provide better sealing of thief hatches. We also implemented a pilot program to evaluate the use of sealed thief hatches with zero emissions. A summary of Antero’s greenhouse gas emissions is shown in the table at the top of the page.
In 2018, Antero Resources became a member of ONE Future, an industry collective focused on reducing methane emissions across all facilities, equivalent to one percent (or less) of total natural gas production by 2025.
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions thousand metric tons CO2e
|Total GHG Emissions1|
|GHG Emissions Intensity2 thousand metric tons CO2e|
|Total Methane Emissions3 thousand metric tons|
|Methane Leak/Loss Rate4|
|% (production operations only)||0.04%||0.06%||0.06%|
1. Total GHG emissions are based on emissions reported to the EPA under Subpart W of the Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule (GHGMRR). The reporting requirements for Midstream changed in 2016 to be similar to those for production operations. Prior to 2016, only combustion emissions for Midstream were reported. Midstream emissions are not comparable prior to 2016. In 2015, we reported for only four stations that emitted over 25,000 metric tons of C02e. In 2016, our Midstream operations grew substantially; we had 14 stations in operation.
2. The GHG intensity ratio is calculated by dividing the kg of CO2e reported to the EPA under subpart W by billion cubic feet equivalent of oil and gas produced. We used a site specific gas analysis and a field wide average heating value of 1135 BTU/scf as applicable.
3. The methane leak/loss rate is calculated by dividing the gigagrams of methane emissions reported to the EPA under subpart W by the gas gross production (cubic feet converted to gigagrams). A gigagram is a thousand metric tons.
4. Total methane emissions are based on emissions reported to the EPA under Subpart W of the Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule (GHGMRR).
During 2017, Antero Resources and Antero Midstream completed or initiated the following methane emissions reduction activities:
- We use burner management systems with three stages of pressure control to optimize combustor efficiency on storage tanks and to minimize methane emissions.
- We tested pressure relief valves and repaired or replaced valves as necessary, reducing the amount of accidentallyreleased methane.
- We switched to air-actuated pneumatic controllers at compressor stations to eliminate the methane emissions that occur with gas-operated controllers.
- We replaced gas-operated compressor engine starters with air or electric starters to eliminate the methane emissions that occur with gas- operated starters.
- We utilize hot taps and pipeline pressure reduction techniques to lower gas-line pressure before maintenance.
During 2018, Antero’s methane emission reduction efforts include investigating the following methane reduction technologies:
- Review emerging methane detection and quantification technologies applicable to E&P and midstream operations. The review will be conducted quarterly by Antero’s GHG/Methane Reduction Team.
- Develop a low emission plug and abandonment plan for older wells.
- Review the option to replace existing gas- operated pneumatic controllers with air or electrically-operated controllers in all E&P operations.
- Explore the reduction of methane emissions associated with rod-packing systems in VRU compressors.
- Review options for recovering gas from midstream pigging operations.
- Implement the injection of blow-down gas from midstream operations into the fuel system at all new stations.