Oil firms agree to cut methane emissions

BP, Eni, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Shell, Statoil, Total, and Wintershall have committed to further reduce methane emissions from natural gas operations.


The companies signed a Guiding Principles document in 2017 put forth by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to address priority areas for action highlighted in the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017.


The principles focus on continually reducing methane emissions, advancing strong performance across gas value chains, improving accuracy of methane emissions data, advocating sound policies and regulations on methane emissions, and increasing transparency.


Companies plan to work, in part, through various partnerships, studies, and collaboration with industry groups, institutions, governments, and others across the gas value chain; establishment and maintenance of monitoring and reduction plans; improvements in methane emissions data collection methodologies and data; and efforts to provide and standardize relevant reports and reporting processes.


Tim Gould, head of the Supply Division, World Energy Outlook, IEA, called credible action to minimise methane emissions “essential to the achievement of global climate goals, and to the outlook for natural gas.” He said, “Implementing all of the cost-effective methane-abatement measures worldwide would have the same effect on long-term climate change as closing all existing coal-fired power plants in China.”


The document signed by the companies was developed in collaboration with the Environmental Defence Fund, IEA, International Gas Union, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative Climate Investments, Rocky Mountain Institute, Sustainable Gas Institute, Energy and Resources Institute, and United Nations Environment.


The companies agreed to encourage other companies to apply the principles.