The CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership

Ongoing
started:
2015

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition created a voluntary initiative to help companies reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. The Oil & Gas Methane Partnership was launched at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York in September 2014. The initiative currently has the following partner companies: BP, Eni, Neptune Energy International SA, Pemex, PTT, Repsol, ShellStatoil, and Total .

Company reporting for the first and second year of the initiative may be found here.

Challenge

Methane is at least 84 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year time horizon, and many consider the gas industry to be one of the largest man-made emitters of methane after agriculture. Increasing attention to methane emissions in the oil and gas sector risks undermining the case for increasing the role of gas as a lower-carbon transition fuel.

The International Energy Agency identified minimizing methane emissions from upstream oil and gas production as one of five key global greenhouse gas mitigation opportunities, noting that low-cost reductions in this area could account for nearly 15% (over 0.5 Gt CO2-eq) of the total greenhouse gas reductions needed by 2020 to keep the world on a 2-degree path.1 

The IEA estimates that global oil and gas related methane emissions in 2015 were 76 mt, but also that it is technically possible to reduce these by roughly 75% - and by up to 50% just by implementing approaches that have no net costs, taking into account the value of the gas saved.



   

Objectives

The Oil & Gas Methane Partnership provides companies a credible mechanism to systematically and responsibly address their methane emissions, and to demonstrate this systematic approach and its results to stakeholders.

Key technical partners include the Environmental Defense Fund, the U.S. EPA’s Natural Gas Star programme, and the Global Methane Initiative. The Coalition conducted a year-long consultation process with experts from oil and gas companies, trade organisations, NGOs, reporting initiatives and other experts to develop the Partnership. The goal was to create a mechanism that met the accountability requirements of stakeholders, that was implementable by companies and supported by governments. It has won the endorsement of investor groups: in 2014, three international investor groups representing over $20 trillion in assets issued a joint statement calling on companies to join the CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership.2

Action plan

A company joining the CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership voluntarily commits itself to the following in its participating operations:

  • Survey for nine 'core' sources that account for much of methane emissions in typical upstream operations;
  • Evaluate cost-effective technology options to address uncontrolled sources; and
  • Report progress on surveys, project evaluations and project implementation in a transparent, credible manner that demonstrates results.

A member company surveys its participating operations and reports on the number of each core source, noting how many are mitigated and how many are unmitigated, with reference to recommended best-practice options in the OGMP's Technical Guidance Documents. Companies also calcultate the methane emissions from each mitigated source. Later, the company reports its mitigation projects and the emissions reductions achieved from these. Each partner company submits an annual report to the Coalition Secretariat. This information is collated to keep track of the overall progress of the Partnership.  The Coalition Secretariat also produces company-specific summary reports that are publically available.

There is no minimum share of assets that a company must include when joining. Since this is a new area for some companies, we expect them to learn by doing, with assistance available from the Partnership. Since partner companies report publically each year the share of their assets covered by the partnership, stakeholders will expect them to increase this share over time until all operated assets are included.

The Coalition – and its government and NGO partners – will support a participating company’s efforts by making available technical assistance, encouraging development of policies and practices that promote and support oil and gas methane emission reduction activities within Coalition country borders and beyond, and providing an independent Partnership Administrator based at UN Environment. There are no partnership fees.

The nine OGMP 'core' emission sources of methane 

  1. Natural gas driven pneumatic controllers and pumps
  2. Fugitive component and equipment leaks
  3. Centrifugal compressors with wet (oil) seals
  4. Reciprocating compressor rod seal/packing vents
  5. Glycol dehydrators
  6. Unstabilised hydrocarbon liquid storage tanks
  7. Well venting for liquids unloading
  8. Well venting/flaring during well completion for hydraulically fractured gas wells
  9. Casinghead gas venting

      

See the Technical Guidance Documents corresponding to each of these sources.

Public Reporting

Partner companies of the CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership have committed to reporting annually on activities specified in Section 3d of the OGMP Framework document. Company-specific summaries of these reports are made publicly available. The contents of these public summaries are specified in Section 4 of the OGMP Framework document.

A partner company’s first report is due following its first full calendar year in the Partnership.

Documents

A company signs a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to join the CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership.

Details of the Partnership may be found in the CCAC OGMP Framework Document, which is an annex to the MoU.

Information on each of the core sources, including recommended mitigation methods and emissions calculation methodologies may be found in the Technical Guidance Documents.

Basic information about the Partnership is summarized in the Overview Document.

Next Steps - How to Join

The CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership aims to create a global standard in controlling methane emissions in oil and gas systems. In order to promote this new standard and realize the emissions reductions potential identified by the IEA and others, the CCAC Secretariat and partner companies invite additional committed oil and gas companies to join the Partnership on an ongoing basis by contacting the OGMP Administrator at the CCAC Secretariat.

 

1 See IEA (2013) World Energy Outlook Special Report: Redrawing the Energy -Climate Map and IEA (2015) World Energy Outlook Special Report: Energy and Climate Change

2 Joint investor statement by IIGCC, INCR and IGCC

Resources & tools

Activity contact

Philip Swanson,
Oil & Gas Initiative coordinator
Philip.Swanson [at] un.org

Initiatives

Pollutants (SLCP)

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