ESG - Environmental Social Governance

Methane emissions: tackling the invisible threat

Addressing methane leaks effectively: Strategies for mitigation. Discover advanced technologies and solutions offered by Atmeco Integrity Services.

The underestimated impact of methane, an often-overlooked greenhouse gas, has far-reaching consequences for climate change. Delve into the importance of methane reduction and a possible solution.

While carbon dioxide is widely recognized as a major contributor to global warming, methane emissions are also a crucial concern. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), methane emissions account for nearly 16% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The energy, agriculture, and waste management sectors are substantial contributors to global methane emissions, with the energy sector alone accountable for 35% of emissions.


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The role and impact of methane emissions

As a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), Methane poses a significant, yet invisible threat to our environment. This odorless, colorless gas, chemically denoted as CH4, is the primary component of natural gas and is more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Its warming potential is approximately 25 times greater than that of carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. Methane emissions are crucial for achieving the 2050 climate objectives and also contribute to local air pollution, ozone formation, and associated health issues.


Methane can leak across the gas production and supply chain
Methane can leak across the gas production and supply chain.

Methane leakage in the Oil & Gas industry

According to the International Energy Agency's Methane Tracker 2020 report, the oil and gas sector is a significant source of methane emissions. Methane leakage during the extraction, production, and distribution of oil and gas contributes substantially to overall global emissions. It is estimated that the global oil and gas industry can achieve a remarkable 75% reduction in methane emissions using currently available technologies, with two-thirds of this reduction achievable at no net cost.

The cost of leakage

Beyond environmental concerns, methane leaks have substantial economic consequences. The value of lost methane, often referred to as "fugitive emissions," escaping from global supply chains amounts to billions of dollars each year. These losses not only impact companies' bottom lines but also represent a wasted energy resource.

The Environmental Defense Fund's groundbreaking five-year research series in the U.S. revealed that at least 13 million metric tons of methane - a figure 60% higher than estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - are lost to leaks each year. The magnitude of this leakage is staggering, equating to enough gas to power 10 million homes for a year. Financially, this represents an estimated $2 billion worth of natural gas wasted annually.

Addressing methane leaks promptly

Implementing effective methane abatement measures is crucial for mitigating emissions across different sectors. Strategies highlighted by the International Energy Agency include advancements in methane detection and measurement technologies, improved maintenance and repair practices, and the utilization of advanced leak detection and repair programs. Furthermore, reducing methane emissions from coal mining, minimizing methane venting and flaring in oil production, and adopting sustainable agricultural practices are emphasized as key areas for action.


Atmeco Integrity Services by KLINGER Australia use cutting-edge technologies.
Atmeco Integrity Services by KLINGER Australia use cutting-edge technologies.

Identifying methane leak points

Unintentional leaks of natural gas can occur in various components of equipment used in oil and gas operations. These leaks are often caused by mechanical and thermal stresses, as well as wear and loss of tightness in joints, seals, and rotating surfaces over time. Understanding the potential leak points is crucial for effective detection and mitigation. Here are examples – provided by the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 (OGMP 2.0) – of components and associated leak points in equipment:

  • Connections: Flanges, threaded connections, tube fittings, and other types of joints/seals
  • Open ended lines: Closed valve leaks directly to the atmosphere or through an open vent pipe
  • Blow-down open-ended line: Leaks through blow-down valves
  • Valves and control valves: Leaks in stem, gland, bonnet, and other sealing components related to valve shafts
  • Pressure relief valves: Leaks in rupture disks, valve seats (or outlets)
  • LNG pumps, rotary compressors, and agitators: Leaks in shaft seals such as rotary screw, rotary vane, and scroll compressors, excluding design emissions
  • Covers: Leaks in manways, boilermakers, blind flanges, access hatches, and other components
  • Others: Leaks in grease nipples and additional components

Cutting-edge solutions for methane leak detection

Innovative services to detect and reduce methane leaks across various industries is the core competence of KLINGER Australia's Atmeco Integrity Services. Their comprehensive solutions include:

  1. Advanced Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) programs: Atmeco Integrity Services by KLINGER Australia employ cutting-edge technologies, such as infrared cameras and laser-based methane detectors, to identify and locate leaks accurately. These programs help companies proactively address leakages, minimizing environmental impact and economic losses.
  2. Continuous emissions monitoring: KLINGER Australia's advanced monitoring systems enable real-time measurement and tracking of methane emissions. This data-driven approach allows for timely interventions, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and fostering sustainable operations.
  3. Methane capture and utilization: With its Atmeco Integrity Services KLINGER Australia helps industries implement methane capture technologies to capture and utilize methane emissions. This process not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but also generates valuable energy resources, creating a circular economy and contributing to a more sustainable future.
  4. Training and expert consultation: KLINGER Australia offers comprehensive training programs and expert consultation services to support industries in improving their methane management practices. This ensures that personnel are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively detect, mitigate, and prevent leaks.

Silvio Stojic, Head of Atmeco Integrity Services by KLINGER Australia, emphasizes the significance of addressing methane emissions:

Silvio Stojic, General Manager of Atmeco Integrity Services by KLINGER Australia

„Reducing methane leaks is not only an environmental imperative but also a strategic business opportunity. By implementing comprehensive solutions, industries can enhance their sustainability, improve operational efficiency, and contribute to a low-carbon future.“

Silvio Stojic, General Manager of Atmeco Integrity Services by KLINGER Australia


Furthermore, Silvio Stojic states „There is no one size fits all solution for methane leak control and reduction. It requires a combination of innovative technologies.”

More information about Atmeco Integrity Services by KLINGER Australia

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  • What is methane gas?
    Methane gas is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) and the primary component of natural gas, chemically denoted as CH4. It is odorless, colorless, and has a higher heat-trapping capability than carbon dioxide.

  • What are the sources of methane emissions?
    Methane emissions come from various sectors, including energy, agriculture, oil & gas, and waste management. The energy sector alone accounts for 35% of global methane emissions.

  • Why are methane emissions a significant concern for climate change?
    Methane emissions account for nearly 16% of global greenhouse gas emissions, thus contribute significantly to global warming and climate change.

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