Greenhouse Gas Reduction
In 2011, ConocoPhillips businesses worldwide completed numerous projects to improve energy efficiency, recover product, and reduce GHG emissions. Examples include:
- Reduced methane venting during well completions
- Plunger lift installation and optimization
- Solar-powered chemical injection pump installation
- Optimized compression
- Relief valve block valve installations
- Dehydrator pump replacements
- Facility consolidations
- Facility optimization and gas conservation
- Flare optimization
- Waste heat recovery
- Pneumatic pump and other well site modifications
These Upstream projects are estimated to have reduced CO2e emissions by approximately 600,000 metric tons in 2011 and will continue to deliver energy efficiency and GHG reduction benefits going forward.
The production of oil from the oil sands generates more GHG per barrel of oil than the production of conventional oil. Almost 95 percent of the GHG emissions are created in the steam generation process. We believe technology will be the key to lowering these emissions.
Using less steam to produce bitumen and consuming less fuel to generate steam are two approaches to lower the GHG intensity of production. Specific applications we are considering for current and future facilities to improve our emissions performance include reducing the steam-oil ratio, improving energy efficiency, using insulated tubing, and evaluating alternative combustion techniques and fuel sources.
As part of ConocoPhillips’ $300 million investment in heavy oil technology development, ConocoPhillips Canada is undertaking studies on various advanced-capture technologies and potential storage solutions. These include both advanced amine-based capture systems and various oxy-burn technologies. We are also investing in several industry partnerships that are developing concepts for CO2 transportation and storage infrastructure, and for field demonstrations of commercial-scale geologic storage in Alberta (e.g. Integrated CO2 Network). Industry and government cooperation is critical for developing this infrastructure and demonstrating geologic storage potential. We are committed to managing GHG emissions in a manner that is environmentally and economically effective. For more information visit the ConocoPhillips Canada SD Portal.
The list above does not represent a complete inventory of ConocoPhillips GHG reduction activities and the resulting emission reductions have not all been third-party verified. For additional information on Sustainable Development reporting verification, see Assurance Statement. For additional information on company efforts to improve the energy efficiency of our operations visit Energy Efficiency.
Since 2003 ConocoPhillips has made significant progress reducing the volume of gas flared at our facilities. Flaring is the safety practice of burning off excess gases that might otherwise pose a hazard and that cannot be recovered for export to consumers, used as fuel within the field, or cost-effectively re-injected into the producing formation. Such flaring is most common in areas of the world lacking sufficient infrastructure to transport natural gas to market. Visit Flaring for details on our performance.
Carbon Capture and Storage
ConocoPhillips believes that CCS represents a key set of technologies and practices that could play an important role in meeting long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals. The company is working to advance capture technologies and beneficial reuse options:
- The company is leveraging its more than 30 years of operational experience in miscible gas injection at its North Slope assets in Alaska and 25 years of CO2 EOR experience in West Texas to evaluate new EOR opportunities to facilitate production growth.
- ConocoPhillips was selected by the DOE to conduct the first field trial of using CO2 to produce methane from gas hydrates on Alaska’s North Slope. The company is also investing in CO2 EOR research in Norway as part of the Ekofisk EOR program.
- ConocoPhillips has contracted to sell CO2 captured from the ConocoPhillips’ Lost Cabin Gas Plant in Wyoming for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR).
- The company has also evaluated several additional CCS projects in an effort to find viable applications for this technology.
Visit the Carbon Capture and Storage site for more details.
Our Position on Voluntary GHG Reduction Targets
We believe that mandatory national frameworks, linked internationally, are more likely to achieve meaningful global GHG reductions. In 2007 ConocoPhillips became the first U.S.-based energy company to take this position. Since that time, in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, the company has played a constructive role in public policy dialogue to create practical, equitable and cost-effective approaches to stabilize the concentration of GHG in the atmosphere (see Public Policy Engagement). The majority of ConocoPhillips assets are in countries, regions, and states/provinces that either currently mandate GHG emission reductions or that could mandate GHG reductions in the near future.
While ConocoPhillips does not have a company-wide GHG reduction target, each ConocoPhillips business unit is required to develop its own climate change action plan that includes specific goals related to GHG management in their plans. These goals may include energy efficiency and/or GHG reduction targets but will also include other actions (e.g. improved accuracy of emissions data) aimed at preparing each business unit to effectively manage the issue.