Cairn’s fugitive emissions study

In the oil and gas industry, fugitive emissions often make up a significant proportion of a company’s GHG emissions. These are not only a waste of resources but also have high global warming potential – as they are primarily methane and thus 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of global warming potential.

Along with an independent external expert, Cairn Oil & Gas conducted a fugitive emissions study of its Rajasthan operations. A leak detection and repair programme was carried out to check for emission leaks from process equipment. All joints such as valves, connectors, pumps, sampling connections, compressors, pressure relief devices and open-ended lines in the process plant and well pads were monitored.

Findings were positive, with fugitive emissions accounting for only 0.011% of the total GHG emissions of the process and well pad areas – significantly lower than the 13% correction factor which was being applied to account for unmeasured emissions. These numbers compared favourably with fugitive emission ranges found in North American oil and gas installations.

The study highlighted the excellent asset management and upkeep of facilities at Cairn’s Rajasthan operations.