Working to Improve Air Quality

Concho seeks to minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) and other emissions from our operations and efforts to reduce emissions are underway throughout our operations. In order to capture and retain as much gas as possible we have installed emission control and gas capture equipment across our operations.  We have invested heavily in emission control equipment for vapor recovery, closed vent systems, custody transfer units, combustors and flares. These investments have reduced methane and volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions associated with crude oil production and storage at our facilities. Additional emissions reduction investments are made incrementally as new facilities are brought online.

Transporting our crude oil production volumes by pipeline is a key component of our marketing strategy that is not only efficient but also helps us reduce our environmental footprint and minimize emissions. Before commencing a new development project, operational planning across multiple functions is critical for ensuring pipeline infrastructure and gathering lines are in place prior to the production phase. Whenever feasible, we install lease automated custody transfer (LACT) units to connect crude oil directly to gathering pipelines. Companywide, more than 90% of our crude oil production is transported via pipeline to regional refineries and key marketing hubs. Benefits of reduced truck transport include:

  • Decreasing venting from hatches during loading
  • Eliminating tailpipe emissions during transport
  • Reducing traffic accidents which protect drivers and minimizes spill risk

We continue to take steps to reduce emissions from our current operations and future projects and view this reduction as an important component of our asset development. Steps we have taken include: integrating GHG emissions management throughout our operations, focusing on improving efficiencies and working to discover new technologies to prevent GHG emissions. Although we are proud of our progress to date, we will continue to pursue challenging goals to isolate and prevent GHG emissions.

We believe we can be a successful operator while minimizing emissions. Below are some of our customary practices and emission reduction efforts:

  • Report GHG emissions to the EPA annually.
  • Reduce GHG emissions, including VOC and methane, under the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards Quad O and Quad Oa.
  • Reduce air emissions under the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.
  • Operate in compliance with air permits and authorizations from state agencies in Texas and New Mexico.
  • Perform maintenance and repairs on emissions control equipment by dedicated operation teams.
  • Conduct monthly third-party verification of emissions control equipment performance.
  • Monitor facility fugitive emissions using latest technologies in leak detection, including infrared cameras, to minimize such fugitive emissions from operations.
  • Elimination of high-bleed pneumatic devices throughout our operations.
  • Installation of low-bleed pneumatic devices at new facilities.
  • Truck loading emission control through vapor recovery lines.
  • Use of cleaner burning engines when available to power operations.
  • Solar-powered chemical injection and automation devices.

Pipeline Emissions Reduction