Setting a Bold Direction.
In 2019, Southern Star further solidified our commitment to environmental stewardship through the public announcement of two emissions reduction goals: to reduce our system’s methane emissions by 50% by the end of year 2025, based on a 2020 baseline, and to reach net neutrality for carbon and methane emissions by 2050. Through the first two years of the methane reduction program, Southern Star cost effectively, and efficiently, reduced methane emissions in 2021 and 2022 by approximately 23.8% and 10.5%, respectively, from our baseline.
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve how we monitor and reduce emission leaks, Southern Star retained a third-party consultant to audit our 2020 methane emissions baseline data sets and calculations to ensure accuracy in reporting. The third-party audit found only minor necessary changes to the calculated emission values. The validation review resulted in a less than 1% deviation from the internally calculated emissions value.
Our program’s success is driven by our strong partnership and coordination with customers to draw down lines and reduce potential pipeline blowdown emissions, enhanced emissions training of our staff, and employment of real time engine and system analytics to identify leaks and operational emissions indicators more rapidly.
Sustainable and Growth-Oriented Strategies.
Southern Star also continues to implement and evaluate evolving technologies to reduce emissions. Two such technologies are the use of zero emission compression units and enhanced engine and system data analytics.
Our infrastructure assets will remain critical to delivering the safe, clean, reliable, affordable energy people demand for many years to come, but at the same time, we are diversifying. We’ve moved beyond our previous business model by researching sources of cleaner natural gas, investing in renewable natural gas and hydrogen, and achieving emissions targets. Southern Star launched the “H2 Pilot Project,” which involved using a hydrogen-blend fuel in a natural gas reciprocating engine at the Hugoton, Kansas compressor station. Southern Star is the first natural gas transmission company in the United States to utilize hydrogen as a component in its fuel to reduce its carbon footprint. The Hydrogen Pilot Project only further illustrates Southern Star’s persistent commitment to create long term value for customers and communities we serve through modernization, continuous improvement, and planned infrastructure for energies of the future.