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The company also stressed that centralised solutions to a decentralised problem will not work.

By Joseph Murphy

Utah-based methane mitigation firm Qnergy has urged the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt the strongest possible performance standards for reducing methane emissions, it said in a statement on June 16.

The EPA is set to finalise methane mitigation rules for the oil and gas industry within the next year. By adopting tough standards, Qnergy said the agency could drive innovations in US-based methane technologies.

Qnergy also called on the EPA to exclude technologies that emit VOCs, CO and NOx, and result in methane slip such as those powered by internal combustion engines. It also said it wanted the rules to "recognise and publicly acknowledge that clean technology already exists in the market" to meet the targets.

Qnergy's technology converts methane-powered instrumentation at pneumatic devices to use compressed air instead. It estimates that this technology alone could tackle 20% of the 6.6mn metric tons/year of methane that escapes from natural gas sites in the US.

In October, TotalEnergies announced it was deploying the technology to reduce methane emissions at the Barnett gas field in the US Permian basin.

"Addressing the decentralised problem of industrial methane emissions is both hard, and easy.  It's easy, as technological solutions already exist to prevent emissions from escaping in the first place," Qnergy CEO Ory Zik said. "Further, there is a commercial incentive for high-emitting industries to convert this 'waste' methane into clean, low cost fuel."

As methane emissions are widely distributed, Zik said it was important that the EPA recognised that "centralised solutions being proposed to tackle a decentralised problem simply will not work."