The non-profit initiative was launched in December 2020.

By Joseph Murphy

Some 4% of global natural gas supply has now been certified under MiQ's standards for monitoring methane emissions, the non-profit initiative reported on July 28.

Launched by RMI and Systemiq in December 2020, the MiQ initiative works by certifying gas supply based on its methane intensity and how frequently and effectively operators inspect their facilities, as well as the company practices they have introduced. Primarily US-focused, it now accounts for 17% of the country's gas production.

"Numerous operators based all over the US have undergone certification. Independent auditors carry out the process which leverages data from MiQ's ecosystem of independent technology partners," MiQ CEO Georges Tijbosch said in a statement. "In six months of MiQ certification, we've seen over 4000 square miles flown with aerial surveys, 600 drone-based OGI inspections, 650 wells monitored with continuous instrumentation, and 2300 extra OGI site-level surveys."

Under MiQ, producers’ gas is graded on an A to F basis. To get an A, it must have a methane intensity of no greater than 0.05%. For B it must be no more than 0.10%, C 0.20%, D 0.50%, E 1.00% and F 2.00%. There are also rules for how producers must detect and quantify their emissions. Operators must undertake leak detection and repair (LDAR) work at their facilities at least once a year to be graded at all, for instance. To achieve a C or higher, they need to reconcile their bottom-up, ground-level data with top-down data provided by satellites and aeroplanes. And to score B and A, LDAR inspections need to take place on a semi-annual and quarterly basis respectively.

"As we celebrate one set of achievements, we also begin a new chapter in our journey, with the fantastic news that MiQ certification is now available for the entire natural gas supply chain through our Certified Supply Chain," Tijbosch said. "This makes it even easier for operators to reduce emissions and for gas buyers to understand emissions at every stage of the gas chain."

"Our goal will always be the reduction of methane emissions across the oil and gas sector, and we will not compromise on the transparency and independence that we believe are fundamental to achieving that," he said.

An interview with Tijbosch discussing MiQ's prospects can be found here.

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