Chesapeake, BPX granted A-grade for Haynesville gas wells

By Keefe Borden22 December 2021

MiQ has awarded an A-grade to BP’s onshore business, BPX Energy, for low methane emissions from the company’s South Haynesville basin wells in Texas. With this certification, bp becomes the latest major international energy producer to differentiate its natural gas through MiQ.

MiQ plans to bring transparency to an opaque market, drive demand for certified natural gas, and help operators differentiate themselves through methane-emissions performance. Its independently audited certification system gives operators, buyers – and eventually regulators – an opportunity to support methane reduction globally.

MiQ will issue one certificate for each MMBtu of certified natural gas from the 70 wells that make up BPX’s South Haynesville Facility. These certificates will be ready for delivery to buyers and traders of certified natural gas through bp’s account at the MiQ Digital Registry, with first issuance expected in early December 2021.

BPX’s South Haynesville Facility produces about 0.2 bcf of natural gas per day. These well sites have been certified using standards set by MiQ, which grades a facility’s production from “A” to “F” based on its methane emissions. An A grade represents very low methane intensity (<0.05%) while F represents up to 2%.

BPX said it is assessing further certification opportunities across its US onshore operated portfolio in the Haynesville, Eagle Ford, and Permian basins.

As with all MiQ certification, a third-party auditor independently awarded an A grade to the BPX Facility. GHD, one of eight auditors accredited by MiQ, provided verification for the facility.

BPX provides its certification data through a combination of advanced methane-monitoring technologies. These include Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) cameras mounted to drones and fixed-wing aircraft, and ground-based cameras. BPX also used data from field-measurement devices to quantify methane emissions from targeted sources.

“COP26 and the Global Methane Pledge have clearly demonstrated that the world expects and needs reduced methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, and MiQ is committed to providing the transparency required to achieve this,” said Georges Tijbosch, senior adisor at MiQ. “We are delighted that bp has chosen MiQ to help drive this critical effort, and we look forward to working closely with them to improve their methane intensity and achieve their environmental goals.”

“Tackling methane emissions is vital for natural gas to play its fullest role in the energy transition. We’re in action to reduce these emissions from our operations,” said Faye Gerard, bpx energy’s vice president of low carbon and sustainability. “MiQ’s certification helps validate the steps we’re taking and makes us even more confident we’re providing the energy the world needs with fewer emissions.”

MiQ said it currently certifies about 10 bcf per day of natural gas, or approximately 2.5% of the global gas market and 11% of US gas production. MiQ is a not-for–profit foundation established by RMI (formerly the Rocky Mountain Institute), and global sustainability consultancy and investment firm SYSTEMIQ.

MiQ said its certifications are independent, open-sourced and technology-neutral.

The oil and gas industry alone emits over 84 million tons of methane each year. This equates to the emissions from the world’s on-road transport fleet or more than the entire industrial sector’s CO2 emissions. According to the IEA, 75% of methane emissions from oil and gas production can be technically abated today. As such, preventable methane emissions from the oil and gas sector present a significant opportunity to reduce emissions in the next five to 10 years, MiQ said.

MiQ’s certification is designed to credibly differentiate gas based on its methane emissions performance to provide a market mechanism that gives operators incentives to reduce methane emisisons. MiQ’s vision is to create a market where certified natural gas can be traded like other historical commodities ultimately creating incentives to drive down methane emissions across the board.

Just two weeks after MiQ announced it has granted an A grade for BPX, it announced that Chesapeake Energy Corporation achieves grade “A” MiQ and EO100 certification for its legacy Haynesville shale operations.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation is the first company to certify Haynesville natural gas operations jointly under the MiQ methane standard, and the EO100TM Standard for Responsible Energy Development, which covers a broad range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. The certification includes Chesapeake’s legacy Haynesville Shale operations with production volume of approximately 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas (bcf) per day.

MiQ has also announced partnerships to certify natural gas with Bloom Energy, EQT and ExxonMobil.

BP announced plans to buy BHP’s U.S. onshore assets in 2018. It closed the $10.5 billion purchase and folded those assets into its U.S. onshore oil and gas business, known as BPX Energy, when it took over operations in early 2019.

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