Joint effort focuses on developing technologies and management practices to
accelerate reductions of methane emissions across the global oil and gas
(HOUSTON, Texas) BP and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced today a three-year
strategic commitment to advance technologies and practices to reduce methane emissions from the
global oil and gas supply chain.
The agreement enables joint collaboration on projects that test technologies and emerging strategies
to continue to improve methane management. Working with universities and third party experts, the
initiative has the potential for broad applicability to help the entire oil and gas industry significantly
reduce this potent greenhouse gas.
“BP is taking a leading role in addressing methane emissions, and this collaboration with EDF is
another important step forward for us and for our industry,” said Bernard Looney, BP’s upstream chief
executive. “We’ve made great progress driving down emissions across our own business, including
meeting our industry-leading methane intensity target of 0.2 percent, but there is much more work to
do and partnering with the committed and capable team at EDF will help us develop and share best
“BP’s commitment to push the next frontier of methane technology and practice is important to prove
out solutions that oil and gas companies can use to accelerate emission reductions. The scale of the
methane challenge is enormous, but so is the opportunity. Whether natural gas can play a
constructive role in the energy transition depends on aggressive measures to reduce emissions that
include methane,” said Fred Krupp, EDF president. “BP took such a step today.”
He added, “EDF and BP don’t agree on everything, but we’re finding common ground on methane.
BP has shown early ambition to lead on methane technology. We hope to see more as BP delivers on
its own stringent methane goal and we work together to spread solutions industrywide.”
EDF will not receive any funding from BP, consistent with EDF’s strict policy prohibiting receipt of
funds from energy companies and corporate collaborators. Rather, BP and EDF are working to
identify third-party analytical and technological demonstration projects, and BP will assist with funding
The collaboration will also facilitate industry dialogue about the best practices to monitor and reduce
emissions. EDF will provide input on science, technology and policy. These areas of work build on
BP’s methane reduction target; EDF’s extensive methane research, business analyses and other
innovation projects; and both organizations’ participation in the Methane Guiding Principles, a multistakeholder initiative aimed at broad engagement to continually reduce emissions globally.
Key initiatives for the new methane collaborative focus on three areas in 2019:
1) Advancing Technology Breakthroughs
BP grants up to $500,000 to a multi-stakeholder research initiative led by Colorado State
University (CSU) that will improve the pathways to regulatory acceptance for emerging
methane detection and quantification technologies. Advances such as drone-based
methane monitoring and stationary continuous monitoring offer the potential to speed
detection time, enabling more emissions to be found and fixed with enhanced efficiency.
But to be accepted by regulators, innovations must be rigorously demonstrated as
environmentally effective compared to traditional approaches. Developing a robust
analytical model in addition to protocols for rigorous, independent field-testing are key
milestones for this year. BP’s financial and technical support builds on EDF’s policy and
“CSU welcomes this support from BP and EDF for this critical research work, and this
provides the necessary confidence and momentum for other stakeholders to contribute in
a collaborative environment, in which the results and tools will benefit the wider industry,”
said Dan Zimmerle, senior research associate for Colorado State University’s Energy
2) Leveraging Digital Technologies
The digital revolution sweeping the oil and gas industry offers new opportunity to integrate
methane management into operational excellence, as identified in EDF’s report, Fueling
the Digital Methane Future, produced with Accenture Strategy. Technology solutions like
machine learning, artificial intelligence and augmented reality can embed methane
management into the digital transformation that companies like BP are implementing to
adapt and compete in a changing landscape.
In 2019, EDF and BP will scope and announce a digitalization project for methane that
will harness innovation that improves operations and reduces emissions. Results and key
learnings will be publicized to maximize environmental and industry benefits.
3) Expanding Methane Management
BP and EDF will also jointly collaborate on projects aimed at increasing the
understanding of joint ventures, identifying best practices and potential opportunities for
reducing methane emissions in non-operated assets. A 2018 EDF report found that
BP and Environmental Defense Fund Collaborate to Reduce Methane Emissions Page | 3
companies like BP can extend the impact of their methane reduction targets by
supporting emissions reductions in joint venture projects with other oil and gas operators.
In 2019, BP and EDF will convene a workshop to learn about practices for emission
reductions at non-operated assets and to identify potential opportunities to expand the
coverage of methane efforts and commitments.