The CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership

The commitments of oil and gas companies to further control methane emissions listed on the Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) portal to highlight corporate efforts to support government action to combat climate change.

The commitments of seven oil and gas companies to further control methane emissions was listed today on the Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) portal to highlight corporate efforts to support government action to combat climate change.

The companies are part of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s (CCAC) Oil & Gas Methane Partnership, which aims to create a global standard to control methane emissions in oil and gas systems.

The companies that have pledged to reduce methane emissions in their operations include: BG Group, ENI, PEMEX, PTT, Southwestern Energy, Statoil and Total.

The Partnership is working towards getting more companies to join the initiative ahead of and during the COP 21 UN conference in Paris, in December, where governments will agree to a new, universal climate change agreement.

Methane is a powerful short lived climate pollutant (SLCP). Gram for gram, it is at least 84 times more potent than CO2 in the atmosphere over a 20-year time horizon, and the oil and gas industry is the largest man-made emitter of methane after agriculture. On average about 3% of produced gas escapes as methane emissions worldwide – in addition to gas which is routinely flared.

At the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September, 2014, the CCAC’s Oil & Gas Methane Partnership was presented as a key initiative to deliver realistic and ambitious reductions in greenhouse gases. As part of the Lima Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) the initiative aims to underpin a sustainable role for gas by helping companies demonstrate a systematic yet pragmatic approach to identifying and eliminating methane emissions.

According to the International Energy Agency’s 2015 special report, Energy and Climate Change, “reducing methane emissions in oil and gas production” is one of five priority climate policies for the energy sector. Natural gas is often promoted as being “cleaner than coal” but this assertion will only be widely accepted if methane emissions are managed.

Three international investor groups representing over $20 trillion in assets have also issued a joint statement calling on companies to join the CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership.

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

         1. Natural gas driven pneumatic controls and pumps; 

         2. Fugitive equipment and process leaks; 

         3. Centrifugal compressors with “wet” (oil) seals; 

         4. Reciprocating compressors rod seal/packing vents; 

         5. Glycol dehydrators; 

         6. Hydrocarbon liquid storage tanks; 

         7. Well venting for liquids unloading; 

         8. Well venting/flaring during well completion for hydraulically fractured wells;

         9. Casinghead gas venting.

 

The seven oil and gas companies believe that joining the CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership provides many benefits including:

  • The credibility of a public-private partnership in recognising the their past and present efforts to reduce methane emissions;
  • Increased product recoverability leading to increased gas sales volume and revenue;
  • Operational and safety benefits from improved equipment;
  • Harmonisation with other reporting and disclosure standards;
  • Best practice sharing and support; and
  • Development of a reliable industry data set to underpin the climate credentials and growth of natural gas.

 

The CCAC supports each participating company’s efforts with technical assistance and by encouraging the development of policies and practices that promote and support oil and gas methane emission reduction activities within CCAC member countries and beyond.

Companies announcing their participation at or before the Paris COP will not only highlight their leadership on the world stage but also provide a tangible example of their commitment to be part of the climate solution.

Key technical partners include the Environmental Defense Fund, the U.S. EPA’s Natural Gas Star program, the Global Methane Initiative and the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Initiative. The Partnership benefits from the political support of key CCAC governments, including France, Nigeria, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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