Project_Methane - Tradewater

Methane Mitigation

Methane accelerates climate change

Methane accounts for 20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions from human activity and is the second largest cause of climate change after CO2. Methane is a powerful short-lived climate pollutant. It lives in the atmosphere for only 10-12 years, but it is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in this time frame. Because methane accelerates global warming, strategies to mitigate methane releases are essential to avert runaway climate change.

38266 & 14039 photo 1_Oct 2022

Orphaned oil and gas wells

A major source of methane is orphaned oil and gas wells. These wells leak methane because the original well operator has gone bankrupt, is otherwise insolvent, or has disappeared, thus, there is no responsible party left to plug them.

While more attention is being paid to this problem, and some federal money in the United States has been allocated to plug abandoned and orphaned oil and gas wells, there is not enough government funding to prevent all methane leaks from this source.

Stopping methane releases

Tradewater is taking on this problem by finding orphaned oil and gas wells, quantifying the methane that is leaking and has the potential to leak, and then plugging the wells to permanently prevent methane release to the atmosphere. Orphaned wells are defined as being unplugged, inactive and have no solvent owner of record.

Tradewater conducts field tests to confirm methane releases and then coordinates with landowners and agencies to plan plugging activities. Tradewater hires qualified local contractors to remove surface equipment, plug wells per state regulations, and remediate the land, permanently stopping current and future methane leaks.

Project data:

Total Volume: 2.2 million tons

Active: 2022-

Registry: ACR

Batch Number Tons of CO2e Vintage Batch ID Verifier Sustainable Development Goals Project Documents
Orphan Well Cohort 1 Pending 2023 ACR - 894 Pending SDGs 9, 12, 13 Upcoming
Orphan Well Cohort 2 Pending 2023 ACR - 915 Pending SDGs 9, 12, 13 Upcoming

If you want to learn more about these carbon offset credits contact us at

“We commend the diligence of Thailand’s government and local stakeholders, as well as their close collaboration, in getting this critical project off the ground, and are working to develop similar relationships with other like-minded stakeholders around the globe.”

– María José Gutiérrez Murray – Senior Director of international Programs

Why Tradewater?

Our carbon offset credits are:


Plugging orphaned oil and gas wells permanently prevents ongoing and future releases of methane.


Our work is additional to any regulatory requirement and to other government funded programs.


The emissions reductions achieved by this work are precisely calculated.


Our projects meet UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Contributions to UN Sustainable Development Goals

9 – Industry, innovation, and infrastructure: This project develops sustainable and resilient infrastructure that supports human well-being and economic development.

SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production : This project supports sustainable consumption and production patterns and works to significantly reduce the release of methane to air, water and soil to minimize its adverse impacts on human health and the environment..

SDG 13 – Climate action: This project takes urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by permanently preventing emissions of a potent, short-term climate accelerant.

The smart choice for sustainable investing: carbon credits you can trust.

Tradewater generates carbon offset credits by collecting, controlling, and destroying harmful greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the form of refrigerant and methane gases through a safe, verifiable process. If not destroyed, these GHGs would eventually be released into the atmosphere.


Emission reductions are considered permanent if they are not reversible. In some projects, such as forestry or soil preservation, carbon offset credits are issued based upon the volume of CO2 that will be sequestered over future decades—but human actions and natural processes such as forest fires, disease, and soil tillage can disrupt those projects. When that happens, the emission reductions claimed by the project are reversed.

The destruction of halocarbon does not carry this risk. All destruction activities in Tradewater’s projects are conducted pursuant to the Montreal Protocol , which requires “a destruction process” that “results in the permanent transformation, or decomposition of all or a significant portion of such substances.” Specifically, the destruction facilities Tradewater uses must meet or exceed the recommendations of the UN Technology & Economic Assessment Panel , which approves certain technologies to destroy halocarbons, including the requirement that the technology achieve a 99.99% or higher “destruction and removal efficiency.” Simply put, this means that Tradewater’s technologies ensure that over 99.99% of the chemicals are permanently destroyed. During the destruction process, a continuous emission monitoring system is used to ensure full destruction of the ODS collected.


Some carbon offset projects necessarily rely on estimations or assumptions when calculating the emission reductions from project activities. Forestry projects, where developers make assumptions about the carbon that will be sequestered over future decades if trees are conserved, are a perfect example. Such projects sometimes result in an overestimation of the environmental benefit of the project.

Tradewater’s halocarbon projects avoid the issue of overestimation by consistently conducting extremely precise testing and measurement of the amount of refrigerant destroyed in each project.

  • Every container of ODS that Tradewater destroys is weighed by a third-party using regularly calibrated scales. The ODS is then sampled by a third-party and analyzed by an accredited refrigerant laboratory to determine its species and purity. These two steps combine to ensure that credits are issued only for the precise volume and type of refrigerant destroyed.
  • The destruction facilities that Tradewater uses continuously monitor the incineration process during destruction events to ensure that over 99.99% of the ODS is destroyed. This monitoring is mandated by regulatory protocols and is part of the verification process to which projects are subjected.
  • Tradewater accounts for the project emissions created during the collection, transport, and destruction of ODS, and the number of offsets issued is reduced by a corresponding amount. The protocols that we use also build in other reductions to account for substitute chemicals that will be used to replace the destroyed refrigerants. Tradewater publishes this information in the documentation for all its ODS destruction projects. These documents outline how the material was obtained, the project emissions calculations, the test results, and the amount and type of ODS chemicals destroyed, among other information.
  • Additionality

    It is a basic requirement of all carbon offset projects that the underlying project activities are additional. “Additional” means that the projects would not happen in the absence of a carbon market. Tradewater’s halocarbon projects simply would not happen – and the gases would be left to escape into the atmosphere – without the sale of the resulting carbon offset credits. This is because there is no mandate to collect and destroy these gases. It is still permissible to buy, sell, and use halocarbons that were produced before the ban. There are other reasons halocarbon destruction projects are additional:

    • There are no incentives or financial mechanisms to encourage halocarbon destruction. According to the International Energy Agency and United Nations Environment Program, “there is rarely funding nor incentive” to recover and destroy ozone depleting substances in storage tanks and discarded equipment. And collecting, transporting, and destroying halocarbons is time-intensive and expensive. The burden to collect and destroy these gases therefore remains prohibitive outside of carbon offset markets—meaning that if organizations like Tradewater do not do this work, nobody else will.
    • Countries are not focused on the need to collect and destroy halocarbons. The Montreal Protocol has been celebrated as a success because of its production ban. This success, however, ignores the legacy gases produced before the ban and is a blind spot for government regulators. In the U.S., for example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed a Vintaging Model in the 1990s to estimate the quantify of ozone depleting substances left in circulation. Based on the inputs and assumptions put into the model, the EPA predicted that no CFCs would be available for recovery beyond 2020 in the United States. But this prediction did not prove accurate. Tradewater has collected and destroyed more than 1.5 million pounds of CFCs globally in recent years and continues to identify thousands of pounds per week.
    • International carbon accounting standards do not require corporations to measure or track emissions tied to halocarbons, and refrigerants are specifically excluded from Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) commitments. These commitments derive from emissions reporting under the GHG Protocol, which requires companies to report on emissions only from new generation refrigerants, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), but does not establish any obligation to report inventories or emissions of refrigerants still in use, such as CFCs and HCFCs. All these factors combine to make Tradewater’s carbon offset projects highly additional. As Giving Green, an initiative of IDinsight, concluded: “Tradewater would not exist without the offset market, so this element of additionality is clearly achieved.” The case for additionality is not so clear for some other project types, such as forestry and landfill gas carbon projects. For example, some forests are already being conserved for their beauty, or for use as parks, and generate carbon offset credits only because those conservation efforts do not yet have full formal protection in place to avoid deforestation in the future. Similarly, methane from landfills can be used to make electricity or captured as compressed natural gas, thereby creating additional revenue streams to support the activities, beyond the sale of carbon credits.