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China Gas, one of the largest trans-regional comprehensive energy suppliers in China , and EQT Corporation (EQT), the largest supplier of natural gas in the United States, announced this week that they were joining the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP).
China Gas is the first Chinese company to join the OGMP. The company owns a total of 636 projects in cities and towns with piped gas concession rights, 17 natural gas pipeline transmission projects, 556 CNG/LNG refilling stations for vehicles and vessels, 106 comprehensive energy supply projects, and the license to import and export LNG and other fuel products in China.
EQT Corporation is a leading independent natural gas production company with operations focused in the cores of the Marcellus and Utica Shales in the Appalachian Basin. The company owns or leases a total of 1,080,000 net acres of land in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio, where it uses horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to access natural gas reserves.
By joining the OGMP both companies are committing to report on methane emissions from operated and non-operated assets and cover all material sources of methane emissions. This improved reporting will provide governments and the public with assurance that industry member methane emissions are being managed responsibly and provide credible data to inform policy decisions. The data provided by member companies enables them to credibly demonstrate that they are contributing to climate mitigation and are making progress against declared emissions reduction targets.
In a statement China Gas said that as the first OGMP member company in China, they would closely cooperate with member companies around the world to help with methane emissions reduction and to ease global climate change. The Group said it will also work to enhance awareness of different industries on methane emissions reduction and raise relevant safety technology levels in China to help the country achieve long-term goals such as ‘emission peak’ and ‘carbon neutrality’.
Toby Z. Rice, President and CEO of EQT said: "Reducing methane emissions is a foundational component of our mission to be the operator of choice for all of our stakeholders, a responsibility we embrace as the country's largest producer of natural gas. Natural gas is capable of playing a key role in accelerating a sustainable path to a low carbon future, both domestically and abroad. To position natural gas as a decarbonizing commodity of choice, however, it is incumbent on industry participants to embrace a modernized approach that deploys best available technology for emissions measurement and management."
Mr. Rice said EQT was committed to fostering a methane detection monitoring and reporting regime that moves beyond desktop emissions estimates to one that harnesses the latest monitoring technologies.
“Transparently demonstrating differentiated emissions impact and reduction is a core financial priority for our company to de-risk long-term demand, increase access to domestic and global markets, and attract premium sales opportunities,” Mr. Rice said. “To achieve this level of transparency, we must build stakeholder confidence through more accurate emissions data from real world emissions surveys."
Methane is a short-lived climate pollutant many times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming our atmosphere. It is also an ingredient in the formation of ground-level ozone a dangerous air pollutant that harms human health, crops, and ecosystems. The need to reduce methane in our atmosphere is urgent. Human-caused methane emissions are increasing faster than any time since record keeping began in the 1980s.
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s recently released Global Methane Assessment shows that human-caused methane emissions can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade. Such reductions would avoid nearly 0.3°C of global warming by 2045 and would be consistent with keeping the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.
Manfredi Caltagirone, who leads the United Nations Environment Programme’s methane mitigation work in the energy sector, said that to reach the Global Methane Assessment's oil and gas targets, there needs to be ambitious and credible action across the entire value chain of the global oil and gas industry.
“We look forward to working with China Gas and EQT to increase the accuracy and availability of credible methane emissions data in different jurisdictions, and to work with them and other OGMP partners to develop robust measurement-based methodologies that can be applied globally,” Mr. Caltagirone said.
The OGMP is a voluntary initiative to help companies reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector by encouraging reporting that is directly connected to strategic reduction activities.
The OGMP is a Climate and Clean Air Coalition initiative led by the United Nations Environment Programme, in partnership with the European Commission, the Environmental Defense Fund, and leading oil and gas companies. It was launched at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York in September 2014.
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