Emissions monitoring continues to spread across the Permian Basin


Adoption of emissions monitoring technology continues to grow throughout the Permian Basin. And multinational companies that have already adopted the technology are increasingly being joined by smaller products.

Birch Resources has signed an agreement with Qube Technologies to deploy its rigs at the company’s horizontal well facilities in the Permian Basin. The company saw a 90% decrease in operational emissions after successfully piloting Qube’s continuous monitoring technology, Axon, over a three-month period.

“We’re adding emissions monitoring for internal purposes to make sure we’re in compliance,” Nick Goodman, Birch’s vice president of surface operations, told The Reporter-Telegram in a phone interview, adding that the move was also operational for the company.

Goodman said the company’s permits require semi-annual monitoring, which was done with optical gas imaging cameras. This technology will continue to be used with Axon monitors, he said.

“Our scale of operations and the number of wells entering our facilities is significant,” he said, adding that company activity is primarily focused in Howard and Martin counties.

“The cost has come down in recent years, allowing cost-effective use” of continuous monitoring technology, similar to other automation technologies, Goodman said.

Qube earlier this year announced partnerships with TRP Energy to deploy its technology at all 25 facilities in TRP’s Midland Basin. Qube is also participating in a pilot program to deploy its technology at ConocoPhillips facilities in the lower 48 states, including the Permian Basin.

“We have a pretty significant presence in the Permian Basin, a deployment of our devices,” Caitlan Capps, senior vice president of US operations at Qube, told The Reporter-Telegram by phone.

She said her company has seen “a refreshing response to methane reduction efforts in the Permian Basin”.

And that response came from a wide range of companies, she added. That’s partly because big companies have been divesting some of their assets — including some big transmitters — to smaller operators.

“Seeing companies like Birch adopt the technology is a good thing,” Capps said.

When talking with clients or potential clients, Capps said they told him “Midland is our home. It’s where our families live. (So) environmental stewardship is important.”

Like Goodman, Capps said costs are starting to come down.

“With scale, we can continue to reduce our costs and pass them on to the customer,” she said. “I also believe that at some point reducing emissions will become an accepted component of the cost of doing business.”


Comments are closed.