The two primary sources of our greenhouse gas emissions are combustion of fuels during our operations and, in some locations, flaring of the natural gas that is extracted along with crude oil. In 2012, emissions were 56.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, better than our goal of 60.5 million tons.
Chevron consistently ranks among the best in the industry with regard to disclosing information about our carbon emissions. In the 2012 report from the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project), we ranked in the top tier of the energy sector. Our score of 88 was two points higher than the previous year's score, showing that we are on track in managing and reducing emissions.
A state-of-the-art Web-based application known as the Chevron GHG and Energy Reporting System helps us manage our greenhouse gas footprint across the entire enterprise. We continue to improve this system by adding reporting mechanisms for electronic reporting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Recognizing the importance of independent review and verification of our emissions inventory process and results, we engaged Ernst & Young to conduct a third-party verification of our operated assets' GHG emissions for 2007 through 2009. Read Ernst & Young's report (2 MB). We have begun a new independent review of our emissions inventory process and results from 2010 through 2012.
Reductions in Flaring
Chevron is working to minimize natural gas flaring and venting and the greenhouse gas emissions that result from this practice. As a member of the World Bank-led Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership, Chevron has helped develop country-specific plans to minimize gas flaring. We seek feasible opportunities to reduce flaring and venting in our global operations. Since 2003, we reduced the volumes of gas we flare and vent in Chevron's upstream operations, as defined by Chevron upstream's Flaring & Venting Environmental Performance Standard, by approximately 41 percent. For the same period of time, we reduced the greenhouse gas emissions from flaring and venting by approximately 20 percent based on equity share of all Chevron's interests globally.
For more than 15 years, Chevron has invested in a series of flare-reduction efforts in Nigeria. Included in these efforts are projects that focus on capture and delivery of natural gas from existing flares and other sources to serve new gas markets throughout western Africa. To learn more about our greenhouse gas management efforts, read Additional Information on Chevron's Greenhouse Gas Management Activities (192 KB).
For an in-depth look at Chevron emissions data, refer to our Corporate Responsibility Report.
Chevron Australia Pty Ltd continues construction of the Gorgon Liquefied Natural Gas Project on Barrow Island, off the northwest coast of Australia. Gorgon includes one of the largest carbon dioxide capture and storage projects in the world. The carbon dioxide present in the natural gas will be injected into a sandstone reservoir more than 1.5 miles (2.4 km) below Barrow Island. This carbon dioxide is extracted from the natural gas as a part of normal gas-processing operations and would otherwise have been vented to the atmosphere. Over the life of the project, approximately 120 million tons of carbon dioxide is expected to be safely injected.
We also are participating in another sequestration project in Alberta, Canada. Called Quest, this joint venture captures carbon dioxide from the Athabasca oil sands project.
Efficiency Gains Through Cogeneration
Worldwide, Chevron operates cogeneration units at refineries, production facilities and other sites, with a combined electrical generating capacity of about 3,500 megawatts. By simultaneously generating electricity and heat from a single fuel source, cogeneration units are about twice as efficient as the average local utility company.
Our Kern River Cogeneration Co. facility in California, a joint venture with Edison Mission Energy, was California's first large cogeneration facility. It has a generating capacity of 300 megawatts.
We built an $80 million cogeneration facility in El Segundo, California, to provide electrical and steam power for our refinery there. At several of our refineries, we're using cogeneration to produce additional electricity from energy that would otherwise go unused.
Chevron has made a long-term commitment to improved energy efficiency in our day-to-day operations, which will diminish our own carbon emissions. We use an energy index to measure energy performance improvements across our global operations. As of 2012, that index has shown a 34 percent improvement since 1992, the year we began tracking the efficiency of our energy use.
In 2011, our Chevron Park headquarters in San Ramon, California, earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification in the Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance category. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that verifies a building or community was designed and built to be environmentally sustainable.
Also in 2011, one of our downtown Houston facilities earned LEED gold certification in Commercial Interiors. Our other facility in downtown Houston earned silver-level certification in 2010. Our Northpark building in Covington, Louisiana, is the first building in that state to receive LEED gold certification.
Reducing Gas Flaring
For the past three years, Chevron has continued to reduce gas flaring by finding new commercial outlets for the gas produced with oil. The Angola Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility is expected to serve as a future commercial outlet for gas that is currently flared. The first LNG shipment from the plant is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2013.
In early 2010, Tengizchevroil in Kazakhstan—in which Chevron is a 50 percent partner—stopped flaring natural gas except when necessary for safety. Through the four-year, $258 million gas utilization project, Tengizchevroil has achieved a 94 percent reduction in the volume of gas flared when compared with figures from 2000.
Since 2009, our Agbami facility, off the shores of Nigeria, has been operating with no routine flaring because the associated gas is reinjected, demonstrating the ability to develop new oil production facilities without routine flaring. Chevron continues to work with its production partners in Nigeria on a series of additional projects to address the remaining flares.