THE INNOVATORS: Reducing the Carbon Footprint Profitably

The Innovators

Award winning Cap-Op Energy provides tools to reduce emissions and costs

By Tracey Murray

When the Alberta Government introduced a new carbon offset protocol aimed at providing an incentive to reduce methane venting from pneumatic equipment earlier this year, Cap-Op Energy was poised to take advantage of the new rules.

Headquartered in Calgary, Cap-Op is an offset and carbon consultant that started operations in 2012. Early on, Cap-Op saw the large amount of data and long-term record keeping required to capture offsets as a challenge that needed to be overcome.

“Some producers that invested in energy efficiency when commodity prices were high, left a lot of offset money on the table by not properly documenting their projects and keeping better records. We knew we had to build better systems.” said Kevin Heal, Director of Business Development at Cap-Op.

Seeing the need for a robust system to aggregate large data, Cap-Op decided to adopt best practices from the data management and software industry to streamline the offset world.

With the increasingly tighter restrictions on methane emissions, Cap-Op has developed a suite of solutions that companies can leverage as part of their emission reduction program.

The first software program Cap-Op developed was a platform that calculates emission reductions from compressor engines using improved technology to reduce methane emissions. This program, called the Distributed Energy Efficiency Project Platform (DEEPP), and the software’s advanced algorithms were a major advancement.

DEEPP received a “PTAC Commercializing of SME Technology Award,” and it has been used to generate over 250,000 credits for Cap-Op’s oil and gas clients.

Two years after DEEPP was launched, Cap-Op began developing additional software tools to meet the methane challenge presented by other sources.  One of those tools, called the Methane Abatement Project Platform (MAPP), is a smart tablet application that allows field technicians to input inventory data about vent gas equipment at production facilities. Besides satisfying the inventory requirements of the upcoming methane regulations, MAPP enables companies to make informed decisions about their emissions.

Kevin commented “What we didn’t fully appreciate until we rolled it out and our clients actually started using MAPP this summer was how much time they were going to save during the installation phase of the project.”

With the MAPP tool and offsets, operators can often obtain a quick return with 6-18 month expected payouts on many pneumatic conversion projects.

Over the summer, Repsol Oil & Gas Canada, launched a methane abatement campaign to replace almost 1,000 pneumatic devices in Alberta. Repsol is utilizing MAPP to reduce project risk and DEEPP to generate the carbon credits which mitigates the cost of the early action equipment retrofits. This conversion campaign with offsets is a key component of Repsol’s sustainability strategy to reduce its carbon footprint in Alberta and comply with tougher regulations on vent gas emissions.

According to Cheryl Stiles, Repsol’s GHG Project Manager based in Edson, “Cap-Op probably saved us $30,000 in my own, as well as the contractor’s time, before we hit the field.  We can run a 1,000 controller campaign quite easily using Cap-Op’s tools. Our maintenance foreman was initially concerned about introducing a new data management system. He now has realized his team can easily collect data and save time using modern methods with tablets and the internet.”

Cap-Op Energy – The “Ask”

Kevin Heal, Director of Business Development, comments “We are seeing increasing interest and adoption from industry over the past year. Every operator needs to be aware they have the ability to reduce methane regulatory risk and make a profit while doing so.”

To further support this initiative, Cap-Op has developed an offset rebate program that provides up to 100% financing for eligible methane abatement projects, alleviating operators from investing their own capital. This means virtually no risk to the operator and would provide Cap-Op with the rights to the offset credits.

Whether an operator chooses to fund a carbon offset program internally or take advantage of carbon-backed financing, Cap-Op is creating innovative tools and services for producers who take early action as part of their environmental sustainability strategy to profitably pay for energy efficiency and become compliant with coming methane regulations.

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