QatarEnergy has joined the Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions Initiative, an industry-led initiative that aims to reach near zero methane emissions from operated oil and gas assets by 2030.

Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions is an initiative by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), a CEO-led proposal that aims to accelerate the industry’s response to climate change. All OGCI member companies explicitly support the aims of the Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change adopted by 196 parties at COP21 in Paris in December 2015.

The Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions Initiative is an approach that treats methane emissions as seriously as safety aspects within the industry. Part of the initiative supports the implementation of regulations to tackle methane emissions, while also encouraging governments to include methane emissions reduction targets as part of their climate strategies. 

QatarEnergy is the first company to join the initiative outside the 12 existing signatories: Aramco, bp, Chevron, CNPC, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Occidental, Petrobras, Repsol, Shell, and TotalEnergies. 

HE Saad Sherida Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs, and the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, commented:

By being the first company to join the Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions Initiative outside its 12 existing signatories, we are reaffirming Qatar’s priorities and commitments with regards to the climate change agenda, and its unwavering support to the global effort to reducing emissions, including methane. 

This also falls in line with QatarEnergy’s recently announced Sustainability Strategy and follows landmark steps that include signing the guiding principles on reducing methane emissions across the natural gas value chain and endorsing the Global Methane Pledge.’

Bob Dudley, Chair of the OGCI, said:

We are proud to welcome QatarEnergy, one of the world’s largest integrated energy providers, to the Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions Initiative.

Recognising that eliminating methane emissions from the oil and gas industry represents one of the best short-term ways of addressing climate change, I encourage others to join this ambitious effort to eliminate the oil and gas industry’s methane footprint by 2030.’ 

Since its inception in 2014, a top priority for OGCI is the reduction of methane emissions to near zero. The Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions Initiative was launched in March 2022. All energy companies involved in the exploration, extraction and/or production of oil or natural gas can join as Signatories. Other organisations intent on reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector can join as Supporters. 

Companies joining the initiative agree to do what it takes to reach near zero methane emissions in their operations, with transparent reporting, better monitoring and measurement technologies, and the implementation of sound regulations.

Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. This is especially true in the first few decades after its release into the atmosphere, but as it stays in the atmosphere for a much shorter time, reducing methane emissions now is an important near-term reduction in the pace of global warming.

In the oil and gas industry the main sources of methane emissions are via leaks, venting and flaring. Emissions are generally estimated on the basis of engineering calculations and standard emission factors, leading to wildly different figures. Better technologies and reporting methods provide more accurate details, something OGCI is actively promoting in the industry.

Author: Sarah Palmer

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