Inactive Investment: Opportunities for Methane Reduction at Inactive Well Sites
Across North America, millions of abandoned, inactive, or shut-in oil and gas wells have been left behind from former operations. These uncapped, idle oil wells are estimated to be leaking millions of kilograms of heat-trapping methane emissions into the atmosphere and environment each year.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG) that is linked to climate change. With an emissions intensity 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide, seemingly negligible leaks of methane can have a significant effect on total global emissions and atmospheric conditions.
Why should producers be concerned?
In 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommended that U.N. member countries start tracking and publishing the amount of methane leaching from their abandoned oil and gas wells after scientists started flagging it as a global warming risk. So far, the United States and Canada are the only nations to do so.
It is anticipated that Canada and the U.S. have greatly underestimated the amount of methane emissions from these abandoned well sites – by as much as 150% in Canada and 20% in the United States. As methane source tracking continues to improve, it is likely that countries will implement rules guiding companies toward compliance.
What are the opportunities for producers?
Inactive, shut-in, or abandoned wells provide a unique opportunity for producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate carbon offset credits. Emissions reduction projects demonstrate to investors, stakeholders, and the public that an organization is capable of investing in doing the right thing while carbon credits provide are an opportunity for producers to monetize these projects.
While carbon credit programs vary geographically, organizations can generate credits for each tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) that is prevented from entering the atmosphere through the voluntary deployment of projects that seek to reduce emissions. Once the project is operational, environmental registries will issue credits that can be bought and sold in special emissions markets just like any other commodity.
What solutions are available right now?
Solutions are available right now to help companies tackle the ever-evolving issue of methane leaks from their non-producing well sites. Enclosed vapour combustors can gather low-pressure vent gas and destruct it through high-efficiency burners that provide continuous burning capabilities with low emissions, zero odours, and no visible flame. Our combustors are tailor-made for site-specific applications and can be sized accordingly for a range of volumes and pressures.
Proactively manage your organization’s emissions.
Clear Rush Co. has a proven track record of helping operators find new ways to reduce their carbon footprint with our reliable and industry-ready products. We’re here to help your organization implement ways to proactively reduce your emissions, generate revenue, and most importantly, do the right thing for our environment.
Connect with us today and find out how we can help.