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Accomplishments

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Introduction

New Methane Challenge Program

EPA officially launched the Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program with 41 Founding Partners on March 30, 2016. Similar to the Natural Gas STAR Program, the Methane Challenge Program framework was structured based on extensive stakeholder collaboration and feedback.

Established in 1993, the Natural Gas STAR Program is a flexible, voluntary partnership that encourages oil and natural gas companies—both in the United States and internationally—to adopt proven, cost-effective technologies and practices that improve operational efficiency and reduce methane emissions. Given that methane is the primary component of natural gas and is a potent greenhouse gas—25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2) in trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 100-year period—reducing methane emissions can result in environmental, economic, and operational benefits.

Natural Gas STAR partners have operations in all of the major industry sectors (production, gathering and processing, transmission, and distribution) that deliver natural gas to end users. Since the inception of the program, these domestic partners have eliminated more than 1.26 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of methane emissions by implementing approximately 150 cost-effective technologies and practices.

With the launch of Natural Gas STAR International (NGSI) in 2006, the Program has expanded to include companies worldwide, significantly increasing opportunities to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations. NGSI builds off of the framework of the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), an international public-private partnership that advances the cost-effective, voluntary recovery of methane for use as a clean energy source. To date, NGSI partners have reduced methane emissions by 115 billion cubic feet (Bcf).

This page highlights the methane emissions reductions that both Natural Gas STAR and Natural Gas STAR International partners have achieved, as well as the variety of technologies and practices they have implemented to reduce methane emissions.

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Ongoing Success in the U.S.

During calendar year 2015, U.S. domestic partners submitted an annual report detailing their efforts in 2014 to reduce methane emissions from their operations. These voluntary activities consisted of nearly 46 technologies and practices and resulted in domestic emissions reductions of 52 Bcf for the year. These methane emissions reductions have cross-cutting benefits on domestic energy supply, industrial efficiency, revenue generation, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The emission reductions are equivalent to:

2014 Methane Emissions Reductions by Sector 2014 Domestic Natural Gas STAR Emissions Reductions as of 2014

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Domestic Emissions Reductions by Sector

The following section illustrates the technologies and practices implemented by domestic partners to reduce emissions.

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Production Sector Accomplishments

Production sector partners reported 42.1 Bcf of methane emissions reductions in 2014—and a total of 901.9 Bcf since 1990. The following is a list of top technologies and practices used by production sector partners in 2014:

The chart below shows the top technologies and practices used by production sector partners since 1990.

Production Sector Accomplishments for 2014

Detailed information on these technologies and practices can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/gasstar/tools/recommended.html

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Gathering and Processing Sector Accomplishments

Gathering and processing sector partners reported 1.1 Bcf of methane emissions reductions in 2014—and a total of 50.3 Bcf since 1990. The following is a list of top technologies and practices used by gathering and processing sector partners in 2014:

The chart below shows the top technologies and practices used by gathering and processing sector partners since 1990.

Gathering and Processing Sector Accomplishments for 2014

Detailed information on these technologies and practices can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/gasstar/tools/recommended.html

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Transmission Sector Accomplishments

Transmission sector partners reported 8.2 Bcf of methane emissions reductions in 2014—and a total of 280.4 Bcf since 1993. The following is a list of top technologies and practices used by transmission sector partners in 2014:

The chart below shows the top technologies and practices used by transmission sector partners since 1993.

Transmission Sector Accomplishments for 2014

Detailed information on these technologies and practices can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/gasstar/tools/recommended.html

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Distribution Sector Accomplishments

Distribution sector partners reported 0.8 Bcf of methane emissions reductions in 2014—and a total of 46.8 Bcf since 1993. The following is a list of top technologies and practices used by distribution sector partners in 2014:

The chart below shows the top technologies and practices used by distribution sector partners since 1993.

Distribution Sector Accomplishments for 2014

Detailed information on these technologies and practices can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/gasstar/tools/recommended.html

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Natural Gas STAR International

Progress is also being made globally in reducing global methane emissions through Natural Gas STAR International. International partners reported 6.7 Bcf in methane emissions reductions for a total reduction of 115 Bcf since the inception of the Natural Gas STAR International Program. To date, these international partners have undertaken methane emissions reduction activities in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Equatorial Guinea, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Oman, Poland, and Qatar. In 2014, these companies reported methane emissions reductions from the implementation of 15 technologies and practices.

For 2014, the voluntary methane emissions reductions of these international companies are equivalent to:

Natural Gas STAR International Methane Emissions Reductions as of 2014

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Historical Accomplishments

Please note that this is historical information. Each summary report below captures a snapshot of the Program's achievements at the time of original publication. Please refer to the most current information above for methane emissions reductions achieved and top technologies and practices implemented by partners.

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