U.S. oil and gas giant ExxonMobil is introducing greenhouse gas reduction measures that are expected to lead to a 15 percent decrease in methane emissions and a 25 percent reduction in flaring by 2020.
The company on Wednesday also announced its intention to improve its energy efficiency in refining and chemical manufacturing facilities.
ExxonMobil invests in lower-emission energy solutions such as cogeneration, flare reduction, energy efficiency, biofuels, carbon capture and storage and other technologies. The company has spent more than $9 billion on lower-emission energy solutions since 2000.
“We have a longstanding commitment to improve efficiency and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions,” said Darren W. Woods, chairman and chief executive officer.
“Today’s announcement builds on that commitment and will help further drive improvements in our business.”
ExxonMobil noted it was undertaking a number of initiatives to reduce methane emissions. XTO Energy’s leak-detection-and-repair efforts and operational improvements at U.S. production and midstream sites have reduced estimated methane emissions across ExxonMobil operations by 2 percent in the past year. Combined with additional measures outside the U.S. focused on the most significant sources of methane, ExxonMobil expects to achieve a 15 percent reduction of methane emissions by 2020 compared with 2016.
ExxonMobil is one of eight global energy companies that supports guiding principles on methane reduction. The principles focus on continually reducing methane emissions, advancing strong performance across gas value chains, improving accuracy of methane emissions data and advocating sound policies and regulations on methane emissions. ExxonMobil is also a founding member of the API’s Environmental Partnership, which is focused initially on reducing methane and volatile organic compound emissions.
Reduction in gas flaring
Efforts associated with oil and gas production and processing are expected to lower natural gas flaring across ExxonMobil operations by about 25 percent by 2020 compared with 2016. The most significant reductions are expected to occur in operations in West Africa and include use of third-party infrastructure.
ExxonMobil is a charter member of the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Public-Private Partnership, which is committed to developing commercial opportunities to reduce flaring. The partnership is comprised of oil-producing countries, international and state-owned oil companies and the World Bank.
Further greenhouse-gas emissions reduction efforts will target ExxonMobil’s global refining and chemicals manufacturing network with the goal of improving existing energy efficiency performance.
The company has achieved a 10 percent improvement in energy efficiency across its global refining operations following an effort launched in 2000. ExxonMobil refining operations ranked in the first quartile for energy efficiency in every Solomon Refining Industry Survey over the past decade. Advanced efficiency technologies and techniques have helped ExxonMobil’s chemical business reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions intensity by nearly 7 percent since 2013.
ExxonMobil remains committed to mitigating emissions from its operations and helping consumers reduce their emissions, including through efficient fuels, lubricants and lightweight plastics, the company concluded.
Meanwhile, the majority of Shell’s shareholders on Tuesday voted down a special proposal placed by a shareholder group called Follow This, which called for Shell to set specific emissions targets aligned with the Paris Climate agreement.
Shell’s board of directors unanimously recommended its shareholders to vote against the Follow This proposal, deeming it potentially damaging to the company’s business, and unnecessary given Shell’s own Shell’s own” industry-leading net carbon footprint ambition.”