ExxonMobil to Measure Methane Emissions in Permian Basin
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ExxonMobil to Measure Methane Emissions in Permian Basin

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Perla Velasco By Perla Velasco | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 16:37

ExxonMobil announced its collaboration with Amazon Web Services and Scepter to develop a data analytics platform aimed at measuring methane emissions in the US Permian Basin. The company plans to scale this technology globally to enhance methane emission detection capabilities. This partnership signifies ExxonMobil's commitment to deploying state-of-the-art detection technologies as part of its continuous methane monitoring program, shared the company.

The Permian Basin, a vast mineral reservoir spanning 90,000 square miles in West Texas and southeast New Mexico, has emerged as a key focus area for ExxonMobil. With more drilling rigs operating in the Permian Basin than anywhere else in the world, the region currently contributes approximately one-fourth of the total oil output of the US. ExxonMobil's active presence in the Permian Basin aligns with its goal of increasing global energy supplies to meet the growing demand for reliable energy sources.

While Mexico heavily relies on US natural gas, it also has access to low oil prices, making it a strong candidate for the growing trend of LNG re-exporting to China. However, it is crucial for the natural gas and LNG industry to develop responsibly, considering these fuels as low-carbon alternatives that facilitate the transition toward achieving Net Zero objectives. 

One key challenge is the lack of reliable data on Scope 4 emissions, which refers to avoided emissions. The inconsistent definition and absence of standardized measurements jeopardize the credibility of sustainability claims based on avoided emissions. The new data analytics platform being developed by ExxonMobil and its partners aims to enhance measurability addressing this critical need.

“ExxonMobil is at the forefront of the development and deployment of new state-of-the-art detection technologies as we continue to expand our aggressive continuous methane monitoring program. This collaboration will enable us to further scale and enhance methane emission detection capabilities, while also having the potential to support similar efforts in the industry," stated Sam Perkins, Technology Development Manager, ExxonMobil.

In 2021, ExxonMobil became the first integrated energy company to participate in a program certifying natural gas production through a pilot at Poker Lake, New Mexico, a key area within its Permian Basin operations. This certification program, developed by the nonprofit organization MiQ, verifies methane emissions performance and mitigation efforts. The Poker Lake complex utilizes the latest monitoring technologies and is operated by a team trained to quickly identify and fix methane leaks at the source.

ExxonMobil aims to achieve a 1MMboe output by 2027, a 13% compounded annual growth rate. During 4Q23, ExxonMobil's Permian output reached 560Mboe/d, while the basin's full-year output in 2022 increased by approximately 90Mboe/d. The company's CEO expressed confidence that technological advancements could potentially double the shale output over a five-year period.

Photo by:   freedomnaruk

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