Coal seam gas is mainly methane, so when it is released to the atmosphere it has an increased impact to the environment. Methane has 21 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide. In the past for safety reasons, compressor stations have vented methane directly to the atmosphere. An in-field initiative lead the upgrade of a compressor station to install a flare instead of venting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve local air quality.
This project led to increased awareness of air emissions generally and recognition that good environmental and climate change management is good for business too. Venting and flaring results in losing product.
In-field practices have changed to avoid venting and flaring whenever possible. The impact of carbon emissions are now taken into account in operations activities and decision making. Targets for fuel use, including flaring and venting of gas, are set and included in the operations key performance indicators on a monthly basis. Progress reporting like this has improved understanding of emissions and resulting in identifying further emissions reduction opportunities.
Sample field performance checklist that includes greenhouse gas as one of nine principles.
Fairview CS2 before and after conversion