Managing Operations & Projects
Our current Climate Change Action Plan includes:
- Developing an integrated greenhouse gas (GHG) technology strategy that focuses our efforts on technology that addresses the major challenges for key operations, including oil sands and natural gas operations.
- Implementing a long-term GHG emissions intensity target to more effectively motivate an emissions reduction mindset in our operations.
- Prioritizing our emission reduction projects on the most economically and environmentally effective projects.
- Revisiting a global GHG offset strategy and monitoring the global development of greenhouse gas offsets to optimize emission reduction opportunities between regions and business units.
Taking Steps to Reduce GHG Emissions
We have incorporated emissions reduction goals into our long-range plans since 2003 and each of our business units has a climate change action plan.
We’ve kept our own absolute emissions essentially flat for eight years, despite changes in our hydrocarbon production. By reducing methane leakage, optimizing equipment, reducing flaring and other steps, annual emissions in 2016 were 6.9 million tonnes lower than business as usual.
Flaring is the safety practice of burning off excess gases that might otherwise pose a hazard and that cannot be:
- Recovered for sale to consumers.
- Used as fuel within the field.
- Cost-effectively re-injected into the producing formation.
Goals addressing flaring and venting have been adopted by our business units in their climate change management plans.
Technology to Manage Our Emissions
We undertake research and development on technologies that reduce the environmental footprint of oil and gas activities through a mix of:
- Internal technology development.
- Partnerships with academic institutions and key suppliers.
- Industry collaborations such as COSIA in Canada.
Carbon capture and underground storage may represent a key set of technologies and practices that could play an important role in meeting long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals.
We continually strive to make our operations more energy efficient. This provides an environmental benefit through reduced emissions, as well as often an economic benefit through lower production costs. We have conducted several projects to improve overall energy efficiency in our producing fields.
Our commercial organization trades GHG emission allowances to optimize emissions management in countries implementing emission-trading programs.
Where our operations are subject to GHG regulation, our goal is to meet our compliance obligation in the most cost-effective manner possible. We begin by understanding the cost and impact of our internal GHG reduction opportunities, including energy efficiency projects.
When reducing our own emissions will be costly and where the regulatory system allows trading, we consider purchasing allowances and high-quality offset credits to meet our compliance obligations.
Our facilities across Europe have participated in the EU ETS since 2005. The company’s commercial organization trades allowances on the secondary market exchanges.
ConocoPhillips Canada participates in the regional emissions reduction scheme in the province of Alberta and has experience with all the compliance mechanisms of that program:
- Making internal improvements to operations to reduce emissions.
- Purchasing or using Emission Performance Credits (EPC).
- Purchasing Alberta-based offset credits and contributing to the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund (CCEMF).
Progress on our multi-year plan includes:
|Managing Operations & Projects|
Integrate greenhouse gas technology strategy
|Evaluate greenhouse gas targets and incentive options|
|Prioritize greenhouse gas emission reductions|
|Revisit and monitor greenhouse gas emission offsets|
GHG technology strategy — We produced an internal GHG technology mapping document to identify GHG emission reduction challenges identified by each business unit with potential technology solutions to inform our overall technology strategy.
GHG target — We set a long-term target of reducing GHG emissions intensity between 5 and 15 percent by 2030, from a 2017 baseline.
Prioritization of GHG emission reductions — We identified and prioritized our major sources of GHG emissions. We have put processes in place to record, monitor and report results of emission reduction projects.
Greenhouse gas emission offsets — We are revisiting the introduction of a global greenhouse gas offsets policy to help business units identify the risks and benefits of using emissions offsets as a greenhouse gas mitigation strategy.