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Energy Efficiency

Energy Star AwardMPC considers energy efficiency to be a key metric with both environmental and financial benefits. We identify where energy can be conserved cost-effectively to reduce our operating costs, save our shareholders money and reduce our environmental footprint.

We have established multiple programs to improve energy efficiency across our assets, including the measurement of energy efficiency using the HSB Solomon Associates Energy Intensity Index (EII®) and the real-time monitoring of our transport trucks’ and marine fleet’s traveling speeds to minimize fuel combustion and ensure the safety of our employees. These energy-efficiency programs and associated metrics have achieved best-in-class performance with numerous U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifications and endorsements through the ENERGY STAR® and SmartWay® Programs, including the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award for 2018.

As shown on the chart below, MPC is the industry leader in recognition under the ENERGY STAR Program, having earned 72 percent of the total recognitions (42 of the 58). This is an overwhelmingly large share, considering our refineries represent approximately 16 percent of the total U.S. refining capacity.  In addition, our Canton, Ohio, and Garyville, Louisiana, refineries have earned ENERGY STAR recognition every year of the program’s existence — the only refineries in the nation with this distinction. 

[Figure 1.]

EPA Energy Star History Graphic 

Flare Efficiency

We are an industry leader in reducing emissions from refinery flares. As part of the EPA’s refinery flare enforcement initiative, we collaborated with the EPA to define a series of operating parameters that ensure flares continuously operate above 98 percent combustion efficiency. We were the first company to produce and publish the results of our own flare performance tests, setting the standard for the use of new measurement techniques and technologies to characterize and reduce emissions from industrial flares. Subsequently, we entered into an agreement with the EPA to reduce flaring emissions at our refineries.

The agreement includes provisions for source reduction (preventing gases from entering the flare system) and installation of systems that recover waste gas that has entered the flare system so it can be put to beneficial use as fuel gas within the refinery. Recovering these gases reduces reliance on purchased natural gas, lowering overall GHG emissions. The agreement also includes waste gas caps that ensure levels of flaring will remain low into the future.

By the end of 2017, our flare efficiency improvements resulted in an 90 percent reduction in emissions of volatile organic compounds, an 87 percent reduction in emissions of hazardous air pollutants, and a 58 percent reduction in GHG emissions from 2007 levels, which was the baseline year for the flare performance studies. Flare gas recovery systems are currently being installed at three additional refineries, and all are scheduled to be operational by the end of 2018, resulting in further GHG emission reductions. In total, we expect to invest more than $375 million on projects that reduce flaring. The value of the gas streams we recover is approximately $20 million per year. 

MPC Refinery Flare Emission Reduction

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction

We have reduced our greenhouse gas intensity significantly since 2002 through energy efficiency measures and the diversification of our portfolio. Specifically, our Focus on Energy initiative has enabled our refining capacity to increase by approximately 480,000 barrels per day, equivalent to the sixth-largest refinery in the U.S. without significantly increasing GHG emissions. In addition, our natural gas processing and fractionation facilities have lowered our company-wide greenhouse gas intensity since acquisition in late 2015.  Overall, our energy efficiency efforts have enabled us to avoid emitting millions of tons of GHGs per year.

[Figure 3.]

MPC Refinery Greenhouse Gas Intensity


[Figure 4.]

MPC Refinery Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Corporate Fact SheetThis is an extraordinary accomplishment and demonstrates the effectiveness energy optimization and efficiency improvements have on reducing GHG emissions. For more information on GHG emissions and our analyses regarding Climate-Related Risks and Opportunities, please review our publication Perspectives on Climate-Related Scenarios: Risks And Opportunities  (October 2018).

Perspectives on Climate-Related Scenarios - (PDF 1.4 MB)






Criteria Pollutant Emissions

MPC works to reduce criteria pollutant emissions aided by the energy efficiency and flare reduction programs described previously. The success of these efforts is demonstrated in the graphs below. Just one example is at our Galveston Bay refinery, where we are replacing existing heaters with new ones equipped with state-of-the-art emissions controls. By investing in new heaters, we expect to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by over 370 tons per year.

From 2002 to 2017, we have reduced our criteria pollutant emissions per common barrel of throughput by roughly 70 percent. Such improvements in emissions intensity are not achieved without significant expense. We have invested over $700 million to achieve these dramatic results. We are also making ongoing improvements within our gathering and processing operations designed to further reduce fugitive emissions.

[Figure 5.]

[Figure 6.]

Criteria Pollutant Emissions

Launcher Receiver Emission Reduction Systems

MPLX LP, through its subsidiaries MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources, L.L.C. and Ohio Gathering Company, L.L.C., has entered into a first-of-its-kind agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Department of Justice to implement design and operating improvements at pipeline launcher and receiver stations. As a result of these best management practices, emissions from these operations are expected to be reduced by as much as 85 percent. As part of the agreement, we are sharing our proprietary designs for “pig ramps” to minimize liquid loss during pig retrieval and information on the installation of depressure systems to reduce the pressure in the launcher/receiver chamber prior to opening.

Information on the designs is available here

A royalty-free Patent License Agreement and Release for Patent Nos. 10,001,240; 10,012,340; and 10,094,508 is available here.

Prior to installing the technology subject to the referenced patents, please complete the attached License Agreement and Release and return to:

Assistant General Counsel
1515 Arapahoe Street, Suite 1600
Denver, CO 80202

Please send any inquiries to




We strive to achieve zero spills of crude oil, petroleum products or other materials. We take many precautionary measures to prevent spills such as:

  • Conducting regular preventive maintenance and equipment inspections
  • Employing various mechanical safeguards
  • Maintaining operational standards and procedures
  • Providing regular training to our employees
  • Vetting our contractors

When a spill does occur, we mobilize well-trained emergency responders to mitigate and remediate any health, safety or environmental impacts. Each spill is investigated to identify the root cause and appropriate corrective actions to minimize the risk of a recurrence. We also use environmental metrics for spills to continually measure our performance and identify opportunities for improvement. We conduct annual drills and training exercises at both the facility and corporate level to ensure emergency-response preparedness.

Wastes and Residual Materials

We maintain programs to reduce the volumes of hazardous and non-hazardous materials we generate. We recycle or reclaim materials whenever possible. Our facilities develop programs for waste minimization, recycling, reuse and reclamation based on their specific needs. We collect and analyze waste management data from all our business units to identify and prioritize opportunities for waste minimization.