Independent E&P Neptune Energy is teaming up with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to test a new method for measuring methane emissions from offshore oil and gas facilities, the company said in a news release March 5.

“Neptune Energy already has one of the lowest methane intensities in the sector, at 0.01%, compared with the industry average of 0.23%,” said Pete Jones, Neptune Energy’s vice president of operations in Europe. “But we want to go further and have set a target of net zero methane emissions by 2030. This study will help us identify where we need to take further action and how we can apply new measurement techniques across our global operated portfolio.”

Plans are to deploy drone, aircraft and methane sensing technologies on the Neptune-operated Cygnus platform in the U.K. Southern North Sea. The goal is to get a close-up look at operations such as gas separation, drying and compression technology, and flaring and venting, Neptune said.

A team of international researchers, including airborne emissions sensing provider Scientific Aviation and U.K.-based drone platform provider Texo DSI, will be coordinated by EDF. The companies will “evaluate advanced methods for quantifying facility-level offshore methane emissions, identify key sources and prioritize mitigation actions,” the release said.

Mark Brownstein, EDF’s senior vice president for energy, said “Data transparency is paramount.

“Oil and gas companies have made commitments to tackle emissions, but you can’t just assert strong environmental performance,” he added. “You must show it. Having credible data is the first step and we recognize Neptune Energy for valuing emissions reporting that is based on rigorous science.”

The study is scheduled to start in July with initial results expected in October. Neptune said the results will be published in a scientific peer-reviewed paper in 2022.