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TotalEnergies plans to use a new technology to reduce Barnett shale methane emissions

The company will use a new technology to replace the pneumatic systems that are powered by and also vent a substantial volume of methane at its Barnett Shale operating area in north Texas

TotalEnergies plans to use a new technology to reduce Barnett shale methane emissions

Source: Courtesy of TotalEnergies

TotalEnergies said the move will eliminate about 7,000 tons of methane emissions annually by 2024.
The technology comes from Qnergy, which has developed a compressed-air pneumatic system that is coupled with a methane-fueled power-generation unit.

The power unit is based around the Stirling engine concept that relies on cyclic compression and the expansion of a gas, or working fluid, to convert heat energy into kinetic energy.

The companies said that a pilot project in March at one of TotalEnergies’ Barnett sites demonstrated the Stirling-based pneumatic system’s reliability.
The test also showed the Qnergy system produced 98% less methane venting emissions than a conventional pneumatic system that uses pressurized methane to control process equipment.

TotalEnergies is planning to install 100 of the Qnergy units in the Barnett by 2022 and will add 300 more by the end of 2024.
Going forward, the operator said all projects in the Barnett will be designed without conventional methane-venting systems.

Carole Le Gall, senior VP of sustainability & climate at TotalEnergies, said:
  • To fully play its role in the energy transition, notably as a substitute for coal, the integrated natural-gas chain must limit its methane emissions as much as possible
  • The technology deployment is tied to the company’s wider ambition to cut its methane emissions by 20% from 2020 to 2025
TotalEnergies' performance in reducing methane emissions is one of the best in the industry.
The company has cut its emissions by close to 50% since 2010, through actions focused on different sources -- such as flaring, venting and fugitive emissions -- and by complying with stringent design standards for new projects to ensure that methane emissions are close to zero.

The company has already reduced routine flaring by more than 90% since 2010 and has pledged to eliminate the practice by 2030.

TotalEnergies' achieved to lower the methane emissions intensity of its operated gas facilities to below 0.1% in 2020.
The company has now set an objective of a further 20% reduction of absolute methane emissions from its operated oil & gas assets in 2025 compared to 2020.