The American Petroleum Institute on 5 December launched a voluntary program to cut emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from oil and gas operations, a move environmentalists said was not strong enough to adequately protect the climate.
Under the program, agreed to by 26 companies including Exxon Mobil subsidiary XTO Energy, Shell, and Pioneer Natural Resources, drillers aim to reduce emissions of methane by plugging leaks, reducing venting at aging wells, and replacing or retrofitting equipment called pneumatic controllers.
The program, on both existing and new facilities, does not set numerical goals to reduce the emissions.
“There’s a lot of different ways to look at the data, we could get wrapped around percentages,” Eric Milito, the head of upstream and industry operations at the API, said about why the program does not set numerical goals. It is a “surgical approach” where the industry sees it is targeting the top three areas where technology and methods to reduce emissions exist, he said.
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