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BP (NYSE: BP) and the Search for Renewable Natural Gas

Keith Kohl

Written By Keith Kohl

Posted March 1, 2017

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the controversy surrounding carbon capture.

On one hand, it could be a potential source of energy, or even a way of collecting materials for an increasingly important energy material.

But on the other hand, don’t we want to cut out carbon emissions entirely?

It’s a tough decision we’re not likely to see an easy end to any time soon.

But there’s another type of captured gas that a lot less people are aware of, one that’s got an even uglier image than dirty captured carbon:


Appropriately, it’s called landfill gas.

It’s made when the multitude of materials left to rot in landfills start breaking down. The resulting gas is made up of around 50% methane, 42% carbon dioxide, and 8% nitrogen and oxygen compounds.

The largest part of this mix is the biomethane, which can be captured and burned for energy much like regular natural gas.

You may even have used this unique fuel before; it’s most often used for transportation.

And don’t think it’s only specialized companies in the business of collecting and selling trashy gas: today, oil major BP announced that it had agreed to pay $115 million for Clean Energy Fuels Corp’s biomethane business, adding to its own low-carbon asset base.

In 2016, Clean Energy was able to sell around 60 million gasoline gallons worth of biomethane gas to customers through its 600 fueling stations.

Of course, BP has an even bigger fueling network than that, which means this “renewable natural gas” will be going to even more customers soon.

It’s certainly not the cleanest energy source around, but if we’re going to keep throwing things away anyway, we may as well be getting something productive out of it!

To read more about BP’s flourishing biomethane business, click here to read the Reuters article.

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