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    Cheniere, partners work on cleaning up US LNG

Summary

Cheniere ropes in academics, producers to co-operate on emissions verification and improve the reputation of LNG.

by: William Powell

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Cheniere, partners work on cleaning up US LNG

The largest US LNG terminal operator Cheniere Energy has gone into partnership with five natural gas producers and several leading academic institutions, it said June 10. They will implement quantification, monitoring, reporting and verification (QMRV) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions performance at natural gas production sites.

The producers are Aethon Energy, Ascent Resources Utica, EQT, Indigo Natural Resources and Pioneer Natural Resources.

Cheniere said in January that it was well-placed to apply pressure on producers: "We are the major salesmen for US gas abroad," senior director Fiji George told a webinar hosted by the Dutch Delta Energy Institute in late January. Importers are scrutinising the carbon footprint of their LNG more closely and this selectiveness is now feeding back into the upstream. Cheniere plans to provide cargo emissions (CE) tags to customers next year.

Anglo-Dutch major Shell has already agreed to buy one cargo of LNG as zero carbon from Cheniere, on the basis of cancelled forest-based carbon offsets. But this is not seen as a practicable long-term solution for plants that produce tens of millions of tons of LNG annually and it would be more environmentally acceptable to minimise GHG emissions upstream in any case.

“Collaboration with our natural gas suppliers is a key component of Cheniere’s focus on quantifying and improving environmental performance,” said Cheniere CEO Jack Fusco. “This collaboration reinforces our data-driven environmental transparency, supports our CE Tags and enhances our efforts with natural gas suppliers to monitor and verify emissions to maximize the climate benefits of Cheniere’s LNG.”

This collaborative R&D initiative will use terrestrial, aerial and cosmic monitoring technologies to establish baseline emissions levels. The project will monitor sites for carbon dioxide and for both fugitive and vented methane emissions. The initiative will also verify emissions performance and identify opportunities to reduce emissions. The initial effort will cover production wells in the Haynesville, Marcellus, Permian and Utica basins that collectively produce some 360mn ft³/d of gas.

The project is being run by a subsidiary of Cheniere and is supported by researchers from the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, SLR International and other emissions monitoring technology providers, including Montrose Environmental, SeekOps, Bridger Photonics Inc. and GHGSat.

“Transparency and robust data are essential to addressing emissions. The Payne Institute is pleased to be part of this project, as lessons learned will be invaluable to not just participants, but to stakeholders globally as companies and countries develop their GHG mitigation policies,” said the director of the Payne Institute, Morgan Bazilian.