Cabot is committed to being a good steward of all of our natural resources and preserving the air quality surrounding our operations is a critical part of our Environment, Health and Safety program. Ensuring that produced gas does not escape into the surrounding air is not only a requirement of the many state laws and regulations of the states in which we operate, but a sound business practice, as it maximizes the volume of gas available for sale to our customers. The quantity of emissions and efforts to minimize those emissions are regulated by both federal and state air quality regulations. These regulations establish emissions limits, emissions control requirements, monitoring, testing, recordkeeping and reporting requirements, to protect and maintain air quality. Our air quality programs work to ensure that our operations meet or exceed these federal and state regulations.
The main components of our air quality program are:
Some elements of Cabot’s emission control program include:
- Promoting the use of green completions that minimize venting of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and methane during well completion
- Using lean burning engines to minimize NOX emissions
- Installing additional catalyst banks on engines controlled with catalysts
- Using flash tanks and BTEX recovery systems on glycol reboilers
- Installing vapor recovery towers to provide flash gas recovery at near atmospheric pressure prior to delivery to the storage tanks
- Pro-actively identifying and addressing areas of possible fugitive emissions containing VOCs and methane. Programs are being established to conduct general surveys of compressor sites, wellheads, tank batteries, production equipment and associated piping
We implemented our GHG Compliance Team in 2010 in order to gather information, develop a plan to monitor our emissions and manage our reporting requirements under the federal GHG reporting requirements. The work of this team led to the development of an air module in our Asset and Compliance Tracking System (ACTS), which is the data gathering and report generating platform for GHG emissions that will support our evolving air quality program.
We are working with various vendors through our purchasing department and facilities engineering groups to ensure facility designs incorporate emissions reductions technology where appropriate. Changes to design specifications to include the use of low-bleed/zero-bleed controllers and vapor recovery units, among other things, are being incorporated into designs where feasible.
Our Safety & Environmental Affairs Committee of our board of directors reviews our GHG program annually, including our GHG reports and benchmarking data.
We also participate in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Natural Gas STAR program. The Natural Gas STAR program is a voluntary program which encourages oil and natural gas companies to adopt proven, cost-effective technologies and practices that improve operational efficiencies and reduce methane emissions to the atmosphere.
Want to know more? Click to read more about how Cabot is Protecting and Improving Air Quality.