A voluntary, industry-driven partnership that will enable the oil and gas industry to address climate concerns was launched by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) during the UN Climate Change Summit on 23 September.
The Oil and Gas Methane Partnership is designed to support corporatations in reducing methane emissions, and includes some of the world's largest oil and gas companies, such as PEMEX (Mexico), BG Group (UK) and Southwestern Energy (US).
30 September 2014: A voluntary, industry-driven partnership that will enable the oil and gas industry to address climate concerns was launched by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) during the UN Climate Change Summit on 23 September. The Oil and Gas Methane Partnership is designed to support corporatations in reducing methane emissions, and includes some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, such as PEMEX (Mexico), BG Group (UK) and Southwestern Energy (US).
During the Summit, Helge Lund, CEO of Statoil (Norway), underlined that given that the oil and gas industry constitutes a significant source of methane emissions, it should take the lead in reducing and reporting on such emissions. Khalid Al-Falih, CEO of Saudi Aramco, the world’s top oil producer, indicated that his company would join the partnership. Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), emphasized the benefits the partnership would have on the climate and stressed opportunities to cost-effectively reduce methane emissions.
The partnership was launched following a year of consultations by the CCAC, with input from oil and gas companies, environmental NGOs, investor groups and other stakeholders. It focuses on nine emissions sources that constitute the bulk of methane emissions in oil and gas operations, including: natural gas-driven pneumatic devices and pumps; fugitive emissions (leaks) from equipment and processes; centrifugal compressors with wet (oil) seals; reciprocating compressor rod seal/packing; glycol dehydrators; hydrocarbon liquid storage tanks; well venting of liquids unloading; well venting/flaring during well completion; and casinghead gas venting for hydraulically fractured wells.
Companies participating in the partnership commit to: systematically evaluate and manage methane emissions from the nine sources in a flexible, cost-effective manner; develop an implementation plan within six months of joining; conduct emissions surveys to identify and quantify controlled and uncontrolled sources for all operations; evaluate and implement mitigation options for uncontrolled sources; submit annual reports to document progress, outcomes and achievements; and publicly report progress on targeted milestones.
For its part, the CCAC will, inter alia: provide technical support and capacity building to assist partner companies evaluate methane emissions, and analyze and implement reduction projects; provide forums and opportunities to recognize ongoing and completed efforts by partner companies; encourage development of policies and practices that promote and support methane emission reduction activities; and promote country-to-country engagement and sharing of best practices.
The Oil and Gas Methane Partnership is part of the broader CCAC’s Oil and Gas Initiative, which aims to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants from oil and gas industry operations, with a focus on methane and black carbon. Thus, in addition to the partnership, the CCAC initiative includes a project to develop and demonstrate new technology to reduce black carbon from gas flares.
The CCAC was launched by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and six countries (Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden and the US) in February 2012 and aims to catalyze rapid reductions in short-lived climate pollutants. [UNEP Press Release] [Oil and Gas Methane Partnership Fact Sheet] [Partnership Website]