Keeping the accelerator on methane reduction
April 23, 2020
Everything has changed, and yet nothing has changed – this is the position we find ourselves in as the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic reverberates around the energy industry.
Yes, demand has dropped dramatically as people maintain social distance. Yes, the resulting oil price drop has caused businesses to reassess their budgets. Yet, none of these things change the need to rapidly address climate change. On the contrary, they highlight the urgency of acting now.
That is why OGCI remains focused on tackling methane emissions as a key priority. Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and it stays in the atmosphere for a much shorter time – so it can and must be tackled more quickly.
In 2018 OGCI member companies set a target to reduce by 2025 the collective average methane intensity of its aggregated upstream gas and oil operations by one-fifth to below 0.25%. We reduced methane intensity by 9% in 2018 and are looking to new technologies to sustain our progress over the next five years.
Investing in new methane reduction technologies
OGCI Climate Investments, our US$1 billion-plus fund, has now invested in six companies focused on innovative technologies that detect, measure and reduce methane emissions. Our latest investment, announced in April 2020, was in Qnergy, the world’s leading clean technology manufacturer of Stirling energy systems.
Qnergy pitched its technology at our virtual Investment Day in March 2020, focused on decarbonizing the oil and gas supply chain. The company will use the funds to grow its innovative CAP3 air pneumatics solution, which uses remote power systems to replace the gas-driven pneumatic devices that are significant sources of methane leakage.
Climate Investments also recently participated in the latest funding round for existing portfolio company Kairos Aerospace, to enable the leading provider of large-scale aerial methane emissions monitoring to expand its operations and geographic footprint, to increase impact and emissions reduction.
Deploying new technologies
As OGCI member companies work to sustain momentum towards near zero methane emissions, they are increasing the number of leak detection and repair campaigns they conduct, and deploying new detection, measurement and reduction technologies.
ExxonMobil, for example, recently announced field trials of eight emerging methane detection technologies, including three from within the Climate Investments portfolio, across 1,000 sites in Texas and New Mexico. All technologies and deployment methods will be used to detect leaks and identify potential solutions that can be shared with other oil and gas operators, to enable action at a greater scale across the industry. The trial is testament to the power of collaboration across the initiative. Our other member companies are also working with several companies in the Climate Investments portfolio to pilot new technologies.
Working with others
OGCI is also joining its efforts with key public and private players to accelerate the reduction of methane emissions across the oil and gas sector. We launched a strategic partnership with Methane Guiding Principles which moved its secretariat to OGCI in 2019 and we joined the UN-Environment Global Methane Alliance which commits member countries to include methane reduction targets from the oil and gas sector in their Nationally Determined Contribution, as part of their overall greenhouse gas reduction targets. We are also supporting the Methane Science Studies, a series of peer-reviewed research papers, managed by the Environmental Defense Fund, focusing on methane emissions from different kinds of oil and gas operations around the world. The first paper was published in March 2020.
The world will likely feel the impact of Covid-19 for years to come. It’s important that during these years we remain focused on reducing methane emissions at the pace and scale required by the Paris Agreement, as a critical step we can take today to decrease the pace of warming in the future.
ABOUT OGCI CLIMATE INVESTMENTS:
OGCI Climate Investments is a $1B+ fund that invests in solutions to decarbonize sectors like oil and gas, industrials and commercial transport. We look for outcomes that reduce methane and carbon dioxide emissions, and that can recycle or store carbon dioxide. Achieving significant impact requires global implementation and commercial frameworks – at OGCI Climate Investments, we collaborate with innovators, investors and governments to fund and implement impactful solutions.
To learn more about OGCI Climate Investments, please visit www.oilandgasclimateinitiative.com/climate-investments
The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative is a CEO-led consortium that aims to accelerate the industry response to climate change. OGCI member companies explicitly support the Paris Agreement and its aims. As leaders in the industry, accounting for over 30% of global operated oil and gas production, we aim to play an active role in shaping the global pathway to net zero emissions. We do this by leveraging the collective strengths of OGCI, continually improving, and building on good international corporate practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate transitions to a low-carbon future. OGCI member companies include BP, Chevron, CNPC, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Occidental, Petrobras, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell and Total.
To learn more about OGCI, please visit https://oilandgasclimateinitiative.com/