By Maitane Sardon
BP PLC (BP.LN) said Tuesday it will start measuring its methane emissions on a continuing basis in future oil-and-gas processing projects it operates as part of its goal to reduce its environmental footprint.
The move comes as oil-and-gas companies, the largest emitters of methane, face increasing pressure to detect the amount of the greenhouse gas they release into the atmosphere. Although carbon-dioxide emissions are the primary driver of climate change, methane is about 25 times more potent than CO2 in trapping the earth's heat, according to estimates used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The British energy major, which has been criticized for lobbying against U.S. methane rules, said continuous measurement, including gas-cloud imaging, will be rolled out to all its new projects worldwide.
BP said it will use the data generated to identify the largest opportunities to tackle methane emissions, drive efficiency and develop best practice.
In addition to measurement of methane, BP said it will deploy a network of technology, including drones, hand-held devices and thermal-imaging cameras for flare monitoring.
"The faster and more accurately we can identify and measure leaks, the better we can respond and, informed by the data collected, work to prevent them," said Gordon Birrell, BP's chief operating officer for production, transformation and carbon.
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