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International Partner Challenge

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Please note that the Partner Challenge Service has changed. The service is now available to international partners only. The International Partner Challenge is a service offered to interested Natural Gas STAR International partner companies. The goal of the International Partner Challenge service is to assist partner companies in identifying and implementing new methane emission reduction opportunities by developing estimates of methane emissions, identifying and prioritizing emission sources, and proposing economically and environmentally beneficial mitigation activities. The U.S. EPA and its expert technical contractors will work closely with partner companies to define boundaries for the analysis and collect company-specific data necessary to complete the analysis. The end product will be a detailed report that quantifies estimated methane emissions by source and provides detailed economic and methane emissions analyses for implementing targeted emission reduction technologies or practices. Services provided through the International Partner Challenge are free of charge. While partner companies are in no way obligated to implement U.S. EPA's recommendations, demonstrated company commitment to methane mitigation are key factors in selecting candidates for this service.

Please note that for this analysis, U.S. EPA estimates a company's major methane emission sources solely for the purpose of identifying potential corresponding reduction opportunities at the project level. U.S. EPA does not intend for the emissions estimates generated to be used as any type of official company-wide inventory.

International Partner Challenge Process and Timeframe

The following steps outline the process and anticipated timeframes for a company’s International Partner Challenge participation. Timing is flexible and subject to mutual agreement between the Natural Gas STAR International Program and the partner company. The timeline below may be used as a guide.

View/print the International Partner Challenge Process and Timeframe checklist (PDF). (1 pg., 91K, About PDF)

Initial U.S. EPA–Partner Meeting—This service begins with U.S. EPA having an initial meeting with the partner company representative(s) to discuss the International Partner Challenge process, proposed operational boundaries for the analysis, current methane reduction activities, data needs, and overall timing. U.S. EPA will provide International Partner Challenge documents (data gathering sheets, sample report, emission reduction history) for review prior to this meeting.

Refine/Agree to Scope and Anticipated Timing (1 to 2 weeks, if needed)—Partner may take additional time, as needed, beyond initial meeting to determine project boundaries, evaluate data gathering capabilities, agree to participation, etc.

Data Collection (2 to 3 weeks, as determined by partner)—Partner completes data gathering sheet and/or indicates where default emission values should be used. U.S. EPA has developed data gathering sheets for the Distribution, Transmission, Gathering and Processing, and Production sectors.

Data Review (1 week)— U.S. EPA reviews collected company-specific data and, as needed, conducts follow up with the partner for clarification.

Analysis and Report Development (2 to 3 weeks)—U.S. EPA assembles partner data, develops the emissions inventory, and determines recommended projects.

Present Study Findings—Following delivery of the report, U.S. EPA will schedule a follow-up meeting with the partner company to discuss outcomes, comments, questions, etc. U.S. EPA will revise the report per partner feedback, if required.

Follow-up with Partner Company (ongoing)—In order to understand impacts and benefits of the International Partner Challenge, U.S. EPA will maintain contact with the partner to offer assistance with the next steps and/or learn if any recommended practices or technologies will be implemented.

Alternate Option: Conduct Analysis Based on Publicly-Available Data

As another way to provide emission reduction opportunities and ideas if a partner does not have the resources to devote to providing data, U.S. EPA can conduct the International Partner Challenge analysis and author a findings memorandum up front, based on a desk top review of publicly-available data. This approach provides a high level estimate of major emission sources and potential emission reduction opportunities for a company of like size. Upon receiving the results, if there is interest, U.S. EPA can then work with the partner to refine estimates based on company-specific data.

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Data Collection Forms

The following forms should be used by companies participating in the International Partner Challenge to provide U.S. EPA with the information needed to conduct the emissions inventory:

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Examples of Key Results

The following examples are provided for illustrative purposes only. Actual results will vary depending on partner operations.

Breakdown of Methane Emissions by Major Equipment/Activity

Breakdown of Emissions by Major Equipment/Activity

Comparison of Estimated Methane Emissions Before and After Project Implementation

Comparing methane emissions before and after project imlementations

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Contact Information

International partners interesting in learning more about the International Partner Challenge should contact Carey Bylin (bylin.carey@epa.gov) at (202) 343-9669 or Allison Berkowitz (Allison.Berkowitz@erg.com) at (484) 341-8095.

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