U.S. LNG operator Dominion Energy has revealed its initiative to reduce methane emissions from its natural gas infrastructure by 50 percent over the next decade, based on 2010 levels.
Dominion said on Tuesday that the initiative would prevent more than 430,000 metric tons of methane from entering the atmosphere.
According to the company, that is the equivalent of taking 2.3 million cars off the road for a year or planting nearly 180 million new trees.
This initiative builds on the company’s reduction of decreased methane emissions over the last decade, which prevented more than 180,000 metric tons of methane from entering the atmosphere.
According to Dominion, the company will achieve the emission reduction by reducing or eliminating gas venting during planned maintenance and inspections, replacing older equipment across its system with new, low-emission equipment, and expanding leak detection and repair programs across its entire system.
“With the new initiative announced today, Dominion Energy is taking a leading role in the industry by reducing methane emissions across its entire system – from production and storage to transmission and distribution,” the company said.
To perform maintenance or inspection on pipelines and compressor stations, natural gas sometimes has to be removed from the system, which was historically done by venting it into the atmosphere. A primary focus of the company’s initiative will be dramatically reducing or even eliminating venting during maintenance activities.
While gas venting is the largest source of methane emissions, Dominion is also focused on reducing these sources by replacing older equipment with new low-emission equipment.
The company is also replacing other aging equipment across its system, including bare-steel pipe, cast-iron pipe, valves, fittings, joints, and seals to reduce or even eliminate these emissions sources.