In September, Exxon released a statement to the public that they will be cutting methane emissions from its oil and gas production in the United States. The main way Exxon is leaking methane is through old equipment and equipment leaks, so Exxon has announced a plan to roll out updated equipment and a plan to find and seal leaks in current equipment. Exxon will be replacing their “high-bleed” valves, which vent gas directly to the atmosphere in order to regulate pressure. They will also develop and implement improved leak-finding technology as well as share their best practices.
The announcement came at an opportune time, as President Trump works to postpone new federal policies that would require Exxon-like actions across the oil and gas industry. Many companies complained about the new policy, but Exxon’s move to implement the reduction in methane without the policy in effect could be a big step to getting the entire industry to follow suit. As Exxon is the nation’s largest oil and gas producer, other companies are sure to follow suit.