Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Devon moves toward carbon offset credits through retrofit

Devon Energy Corp. worked with Verdeo Group Inc. to find a way to reduce methane emissions from wells by retrofitting high-bleed pneumatic controllers with low-bleed options. Devon intends to use the offset credits to mitigate risk from future US climate legislation.

The American Carbon Registry, a private voluntary greenhouse gas offset registry, approved the technology as a carbon offset methodology. Verdeo of Washington, DC, is developing and financing pre-compliance GHG emissions reduction projects.

Oil and gas operators typically use pressurized natural gas in pneumatic controllers to regulate pressure, flow rate, and liquid levels. Pneumatic controllers vent methane emissions.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has said high-bleed controllers are among the industry’s biggest sources of vented methane. Thousands of existing wells use high-bleed pneumatic controllers. New wells typically are equipped with low-bleed technology.

Now, Devon plans to retrofit its high-bleed pneumatic controllers with low-bleed pneumatic controllers.

“Devon has a corporate initiative to reduce GHG emissions and create tradable, bankable offset credits,” said Darren Smith, Devon manager of environmental health and safety. “This methodology allows us to quantify and verify GHG reductions in a credible and transparent manner.”

The Oklahoma City producer also plans to pursue additional offset project development, he said.

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