Reducing methane emissions, one fix at a time

Reducing methane emissions, one fix at a time

Josh Hays’ search for the right job took him across state borders and industries before he finally found it in New Mexico.

His work in the Permian Basin involves helping meet the world’s growing energy demand. Hays’ specialty is repairing methane leaks identified by Chevron’s emissions mitigation program.

“I love working with my team and the enthusiasm we share for protecting the environment,” said Hays, a Chevron maintenance planning team lead. “It’s a great feeling to finish work at the end of the day and know you’ve made a difference.”

Chevron deploys technology to help identify local methane leaks. Hays and his team are the ones called when a local methane leak is identified.

They begin by isolating the emission source and, if it’s a small and relatively simple fix, repair it on the spot.

In more complicated cases, such as those involving automation or requiring permits, special crews are called to assist.

Sensor-equipped cameras are among the tools used to detect and visualize emissions.

“Workers on the ground care about detecting methane because it helps us become part of the solution,” Hays said.

Leak detection and repair campaigns are among numerous efforts energy companies are making to drive down methane emissions.

Methane is the second-most-common greenhouse gas released by human activity. The oil and gas industry accounts for 24 percent of these emissions.

Chevron has previously detailed the use of dronessatellites and airplanes to spot methane emissions and help inform and prioritize repairs.

In the Permian Basin, Chevron conducts frequent on-the-ground and aerial monitoring. Leak repairs are prioritized based on safety and environmental considerations.

“We need our legacy assets to be able to continue producing,” said Hays. “We need to be able to utilize what we still have, while ensuring it’s safe and efficient.”

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