Coal industry CO2 per ton

This data-file quantifies and disaggregate the CO2 emissions from a typical coal mining operation, across mining processes, coal-processing, methane emissions and freight/transportation.

We estimate that producing a ton of coal emits 0.19T of CO2, equivalent to 50kg/boe. The data are based on USGS technical papers, EPA disclosures from US coal mines and EIA disclosures on mine sizes and coal heat contents.

The conclusion is that domestic coal production will tend to emit 2x more CO2 than domestic natural gas production,  in addition to coal combustion emitting around 2x more CO2 than gas combustion.

However, numbers vary widely based on input assumptions, such as methane lakage rates, btu content and transportation distances, which can be flexed in the model.

Methane emissions from pneumatic devices, by operator, by basin

Methane leaks from 1M pneumatic devices across the US onshore oil and gas industry comprise 60% of all US upstream methane leaks and 23% of all upstream CO2. This data-file aggregates data on 563,000 pneumatic devices, from 300 acreage positions, of 200 onshore producers in 9 US basins.

The data are broken down acreage position by position, from high-bleed pneumatic devices, releasing an average of 4.2T of methane/device/year to pnuematic pumps and intermediate devices, releasing 1.5T, through to low-bleed pneumatic devices releasing 160kg/device/year.

It allows us to rank operators. 12 companies are identified, with a pressing priority to replace c135,000 medium and high bleed devices. 6 companies are identified with best-in-class use of pneumatics (chart below).

A summary of our conclusions is also written out in the second tab of the data-file.  For opportunities to resolve these leaks and replace pneumatic devices, please see our recent note on Mitigating Methane.

CO2 from plastics and petrochemical facilities?

This data-file aims to quantify the CO2 intensity of producing plastics, across the entire value chain from oil and gas inputs, to cracking, polymerisation, extrusion and end-of-life treatment.

Granular data are tabulated on 70 chemicals facilities around the US. Most facilities are not directly comparable. However, we have derived meaningful CO2 intensity data (per ton of product) for c20 of them. We find large and integrated petchem facilities tend to be more efficient (chart below)Beneficial energy economics for plastics are confirmed in the work. For example, our numbers suggest the CO2 emissions for a single-use plastic bottle would be c90% lower than a single-use glass bottle. Numbers could be further improved by next-generation technologies turning plastic back into oil.

 

Platform supply vessels: what contribution to CO2?

This data-model calculates the contribution of Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) to an offshore oil and gas asset’s emissions profile, as measured in kg/boe.

Our base case estimate is 0.1kg/boe for a productive asset in a well-developed basin. The numbers can be increased c4x in a remote basin, or by another c4x for smaller fields, so emissions >1kg/boe are possible.

Initatives to lower these emissions by 10-20% through LNG-fuelling or hybridization are described in the final tab. They will likely save 0.01-0.02kg/boe from most PSVs and other supply vessels.

Oil Sands CO2 Intensity

This data-file quantifies the CO2 intensity of oil sands production: disaggregating averge emission factors for both mining operations and SAGD. Emissions are estimated for running trucks, bitumen extraction, steam-flooding, upgrading, methane leaks, flaring, et al; based on real-world data.

A CO2 curve can also be derived from the data, ranking c2.5Mbpd of production across Alberta, in order to compare different facilities and different operators. Steam-oil-ratios explain c60% of the variance in SAGD assets’ emissions.

US CO2 and Methane Intensity by Basin

CO2 and methane intensities are tabulated for 300 distinct company positions across 9 distinct basins in this data-file. Using the  data, we can aggregate the total CO2 in (kg/boe) and methane leakage rates (as a percent of natural gas production) across the US’s different basins.

Covered basins include the Permian, Bakken, Eagle Ford, Marcellus/Utica, Alaska, GoM, Powder River, San Juan, Anadarko basin and DJ basin (chart above).

It is possible to rank the best companies in each basin, using the granular data, to identify industry leaders and laggards (chart below).

Methane Leaks from Downstream Gas Distribution

This data-file tabulates the methane emissions from downstream gas distribution across 160 US gas networks, which cover 1.1M miles of mains, 61M metered customers and >90% of the country’s retail gas demand.

Downstream US methane leakages average 0.2% by volume, explaining 5.7kg/boe of emissions. Two thirds of these leaks can be attributed to gas mains. Leakages are correlated with the share of sales to smaller customers. And state-owned utilities appear to have 2x higher leakage rates the public companies.

US gas utilities’ performance is screened to assess c80 distinct companies, including: Altagas, Atmos, Centerpoint, CMS, Dominion, DTE, Duke, Edison, National Grid, PG&E, Sempra, Southern Co, Spire, UGI, WEC & Xcel.

CO2 emissions from Permian shale production

This model disaggregates the CO2 emissions of producing shale oil, across 14 different contributors, aggregating across a dozen different models constructed by Thunder Said Energy: such as materials, drilling, fracturing, supply chain, lifting, processing, methane leaks and flaring.

CO2 intensity can also be flexed by changing different input assumptions, such as methane leakage, flaring activity and well productivity; while we will be happy to share underlying models with you, for further sensitivity analysis.

Our ‘idealized shale’ scenario follows in a separate tab, showing how it could be achievable to make Permian shale production a ‘carbon neutral’ resource.

Methane emissions detract from natural gas?

This short model calculates the impact of methane emissions on the CO2/boe of burning natural gas, compared against coal. With methane emissions fully controlled, burning gas is c60% lower-CO2 than burning coal.

However, taking natural gas to cause 120x more warming than CO2 over an immediate timeframe, the crossover (where coal emissions and gas emissions are equivalent) is 4% methane intensity. i.e., if 4-20% of methane is leaked, then the total warming from burning natural gas is equivalent to coal’s.

Gas Gathering: how much CO2 and Methane?

Gas gathering and gas processing are 50% less CO2 intensive than oil refining. Nevertheless, these processes emitted 18kg of CO2e per boe in 2018, hence the gas industry must strive to improve.

Methane matters most, explaining 7kg/boe of the gas industry’s CO2-equivalents, via leaks and fugitive emissions (and this is with 1 kg of methane translated into 25 kg of CO2e). Hence US methane intensity ran at c0.5% in 2018.

The numbers vary widely by geography and by operator, and are quantified in this data-file, after analysing 850 facilities’ EPA disclosures. Very detailed and comparable disclosures are broken out for US gas gathering, to screen for leaders and laggards.

Covered companies include Antero, BP, Denbury, DCP, DTE, Equinor, Equitrans, Energy Transfer Partners, Enlink, Enterprise Product Partners, EOG, ExxonMobil, Kinder Morgan, Oneok, Pioneer, Shell, Targa, Williams.