Methane emissions remains elusive challenge for oil and gas industry

LONDON and HOUSTON and SINGAPORE, Nov. 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Methane remains a significant challenge for the oil and gas industry. COP28 could prove a landmark moment for methane reduction commitments, and companies and governments will need to take strong steps to reduce emissions and enforce new standards, according to a new Horizons report from Wood Mackenzie.

Methane is responsible for almost a third of the emissions-induced increase in global temperatures since the start of the industrial era and the oil and gas industry is estimated to account for up to a quarter of human-caused (anthropogenic) methane emissions, according to the report Mission invisible: tackling the oil and gas industry’s methane challenge.

According to Wood Mackenzie’s Emissions Benchmarking Tool, typical methane losses per field are small — less than 500 kilogram per hour (around 0.65 million cubic feet per day), which is below the measurable resolution of most current satellites — but around 96% of all fields have emissions on this scale, making it a large, cumulative problem. More significant emissions from larger fields are often spread across multiple production facilities, making them harder to quantify.

Government role
According to the report, government action will be vital to reduction efforts, with three high-level actions that can stimulate progress:

  1. Greater ambition. Implementable and enforceable policy would be a positive start, such as global collaboration on stopping all large-scale flaring and venting.
  2. Consistent enforcement. Policymakers and regulators must collaborate with industry to set realistic targets and timelines for emission reductions while ensuring that fees and fines are levied appropriately and loopholes are closed.
  3. Financial support for technology. Governments can support funding to improve both measurement technology and abatement solutions. For example, as part of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) US$350 million in funding is available to monitor and reduce methane emissions.

Kevin Baxter
+44 330 124 9400
Kevin.Baxter@woodmac.com

Vivien Lebbon
+44 330 174 7486
Vivien.lebbon@woodmac.com

Mark Thomton
+1 630 881 6885
Mark.thomton@woodmac.com

Hla Myat Mon
+65 8533 8860
Hla.MyatMon@woodmac.com

The Big Partnership (UK PR agency)
woodmac@bigpartnership.co.uk

About Wood Mackenzie
Wood Mackenzie is the global insight business for renewables, energy and natural resources. Driven by data. Powered by people. In the middle of an energy revolution, businesses and governments need reliable and actionable insight to lead the transition to a sustainable future. That’s why we cover the entire supply chain with unparalleled breadth and depth, backed by over 50 years’ experience in natural resources. Today, our team of over 2,000 experts operate across 30 global locations, inspiring customers’ decisions through real-time analytics, consultancy, events and thought leadership. Together, we deliver the insight they need to separate risk from opportunity and make bold decisions when it matters most. For more information, visit woodmac.com.

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