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    US LNG Developer Calls for Zero Leakage

Summary

Gas will lose its competitive edge if it is perceived to be as dirty as coal.

by: William Powell

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US LNG Developer Calls for Zero Leakage

US LNG project developer Tellurian is calling for zero tolerance with regard to methane leaks and gas flaring in the LNG supply chain. Octavio Simoes, a senior advisor at the company, speaking at the CWC World LNG Summit in Rome December 5, said that without zero tolerance, natural gas and LNG would not have 'a seat at the table'. Simoes was referring to LNG's use as a relatively low carbon fuel in the transition to lower carbon energy systems.

Simoes said that if methane leakages along the LNG supply chain and gas flaring were not addressed, natural gas in power generation was no better than coal plant. A gas-fired plant emits roughly half the carbon dioxide emissions of a coal plant, but methane leakages along the supply chain add to gas' life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Methane is a far more potent GHG than carbon dioxide, but lasts for a much shorter time in the atmosphere.

Simoes said that methane leakages were an easy fix and did not require an expensive carbon capture and storage (CCS) solution, "they are a plumbing problem," he said, adding that gas flaring in the Permian basin in the US was now equivalent to the production of 8mn metric tons of LNG a year. This, Simoes said, could be exported to displace coal in power generation in other countries.

Tellurian is developing the two-phase Driftwood LNG project in Louisiana, which once completed would have 27mn mt/yr capacity.

Qatargas CEO Saad Sherida al-Kaabi told the Oil & Money conference in London October 8 that its North Field expansion project would have as small a carbon dioxide footprint as possible. "Qatar is taking a long-term environmental strategy," he said, mentioning plans for CCS and to retrofit boilers as part of the plans to reduce emissions.

The European Union is planning to impose a tax on the carbon content of imports, which could add a further cost to LNG.