Oil and Gas Methane Partnership

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition has created a voluntary initiative to reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. The CCAC officially launched the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York in September 2014. The initiative currently has the following partner companies: BP, ENGIE E&P, Eni, Pemex, PTT, Repsol, Southwestern Energy, Total and Statoil.

The companies that joined at the end of 2014 have now produced their first-year reports.

 

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

Solution

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 results to stakeholders.

To address the largest industrial source of methane globally, we encourage all oil and gas firms headquartered or operating within our borders to join the Climate and Clean Air Coalition's Oil and Gas Methane Partnership.
GLACIER conference communique, signed by 18 governments*
Anchorage, Alaska, 31 August 2015

Key technical partners include the Environmental Defense Fund, the U.S. EPA’s Natural Gas Star programme, the Global Methane Initiative and the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Initiative. The CCAC conducted a year-long consultation process with experts from oil and gas companies, IPIECA, NGOs, reporting initiatives and other experts to develop the Partnership. The goal was to create a mechanism that met the accountability requirements of stakeholders and, at the same time, was implementable by companies and supported by governments. It has also 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

Reducing Methane Emissions in Oil and Gas Production

Reducing Methane Emissions in Oil and Gas Production
This video outlines the key ways the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership is working to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas production

Action Plan

Addressing methane emissions is one of the most effective short-term climate measures available, and key to ensuring that gas is seen as a credible part of the low-carbon future. The Oil and Gas Methane Partnership is an opportunity for Statoil to demonstrate our commitment to this important work. Low methane emissions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf support Statoil's ambition to be a leader in carbon-efficient oil and gas production.
Eldar Sætre
CEO, Statoil

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 the number controlled and the number uncontrolled, as well as the methane emissions from each uncontrolled source. It also reports its control projects and the emissions reductions achieved from these. The company submits an annual report to the CCAC Secretariat. This information is collated to keep track of the overall progress of the Partnership.  The CCAC Secretariat also produces a company specific summary version that is publically available on the website.

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. However, Partner companies report publically each year the share of their assets covered by the partnership, and stakeholders will expect companies to increase this share over time until all operated assets are covered.

The CCAC – and its 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 CCAC country borders and beyond, and providing an independent Partnership Administrator. There are no partnership fees.

The nine “core” emission sources of methane in typical oil & gas upstream operations

1. Natural gas driven pneumatic devices, pumps
2. Centrifugal compressors with wet (oil) seals
3. Glycol dehydrators
4. Well venting of liquids unloading
5. Casinghead gas venting

6. Fugitive equipment and process leaks
7. Reciprocating compressor rod seal/packing
8. Hydrocarbon liquid storage tanks
9 .Well venting/flaring during well completion for hydraulically fractured wells

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 (philip.swanson.affiliate@ unep.org).
 

***

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;

* Signatories of the joint statement: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom and the European Union.
 

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