greenhouse gas management
We are committed to managing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by improving energy efficiency, reducing flaring and venting and fixing methane leaks when they occur. We are also investing in two of the world's largest carbon dioxide injection projects.
We are addressing the GHG emissions in our operations and integrating GHG emissions management into the execution of our business activities. Further, we maintain and report inventories of our emissions, undertake projects to manage operating emissions and apply innovative technologies to improve the energy efficiency of our operations. We also assess the GHG emissions of our capital projects. When developing and approving major capital projects, we estimate a project’s incremental emissions profile, assess the potential financial impact of GHG regulations and examine the emissions reduction options.
Across our operations, the primary sources of our GHG emissions are combustion of fuels and, in some locations, flaring and venting of the natural gas (methane) that is extracted along with crude oil. In 2016, emissions totaled 66 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent, calculated on a direct, operated basis.
For more information about Chevron’s position on climate change, see our Climate Change page.
what we’re doing
We take prudent, practical and cost-effective actions to address climate change risks as part of our commitment to running our business the right way, and to unlocking the potential for progress and prosperity everywhere we work. We have robust risk management processes in place that we believe effectively address climate change-related risks. We consider greenhouse gas emissions issues, climate change risks and carbon pricing risks in our strategies, business planning, and risk management tools and processes.
Chevron has reported to the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) for more than 10 years, and has consistently ranked well in comparison with industry peers. See more.
Recognizing the importance of independent review and verification of our emissions inventory process and results, we engaged Ernst & Young (EY) to conduct a third-party verification of our operated assets' GHG emissions for 2010 through 2012. In 2013, we began an annual independent review of one-third of our GHG emissions inventory. In 2015, EY conducted an independent review of the second one-third of our GHG emissions inventory for 2014. And in 2016, EY conducted an independent review of the final one-third of our GHG emissions inventory for the 2015 data. Altogether, this verification resulted in a favorable opinion from EY, recognizing that the inventory presents, in all material respects, emissions based on Chevron's GHG Protocol. Read Ernst & Young's report.
Methane accounts for approximately 9 percent of Chevron’s total greenhouse gas emissions.1 Approximately one-quarter of Chevron’s enterprisewide methane emissions are considered fugitive emissions; of the remaining emissions, most are generated by flaring and venting.
It is in Chevron’s business interest to minimize fugitive methane and to maximize the volume of natural gas that we can commercialize. We design, construct and operate our facilities with an eye toward reducing emissions from our operations. We also have design requirements to reduce or minimize fugitive emissions from our new major capital projects. We monitor and verify the integrity of our wells and production equipment with regular inspections and safety tests. We have formal programs in a number of locations to inspect our facilities for leaks. To more efficiently track fugitive emissions, we use infrared cameras in select oil and gas operations around the globe to help pinpoint leak locations so that we can address them. In many locations where we operate, we implement procedures to comply with regulatory requirements pertaining to leak detection and repair.
reductions in flaring and venting
Chevron flares and vents natural gas for safety and operational purposes and in areas where pipelines or other gas transportation infrastructure and utilization alternatives do not exist. We are working to reduce natural gas flaring and venting and the resulting GHG emissions. We have developed internal country-specific plans to minimize gas flaring, and we are a member of the World Bank–led Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership. Since 2008, activities carried out by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Chevron Nigeria Limited joint venture have reduced routine gas flaring by more than 90 percent in the Niger Delta. We have also made significant progress in reducing flare gas volumes in Angola through the execution of various projects. For example, our Nemba Enhanced Secondary Recovery Project reduced flaring at the South and North Nemba fields by almost 34 million standard cubic feet per day in 2016. In total, flare gas volume rates in Angola have been reduced by more than 50 percent since 2012.
For an in-depth look at Chevron emissions data, refer to our Corporate Responsibility Report.
carbon dioxide injection
Chevron Australia’s Gorgon Project incorporates facilities to safely inject reservoir carbon dioxide more than 1.2 miles (2 km) below the surface of Barrow Island. Carbon dioxide occurs naturally in the gas being produced and is extracted as a routine part of the processing operations. In most gas processing plants, these gases are vented to the atmosphere. When fully operational, it is anticipated that greenhouse gas emissions from the Gorgon Project will be reduced by up to 4 million metric tons per year, or 100 million metric tons over the life of the project.
In Alberta, Canada, Chevron is a co-venture partner of the Quest Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project – the first CCS project in the Canadian oil sands. This innovative project is designed to capture and safely store more than a million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year – equivalent to taking 250,000 cars off the road annually. Commercial operations at the Quest CCS project began in November 2015.