In a move that will help tackle one of the "biggest and most solvable contributors to the climate crisis", major players in the oil and gas industry have this week agreed to report methane emissions with a new, higher level of transparency.
The Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) is a Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) initiative led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the European Commission and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
Already, 62 companies with assets on five continents representing 30% of the world’s oil and gas production have joined the partnership. The 'OGMP 2.0' framework is the new "gold standard reporting framework" that will improve the reporting accuracy and transparency of anthropogenic methane emissions in the oil and gas sector.
Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP said that to win the race to net zero emissions, everyone needs to be on board.
"We need ambitious action from the oil and gas industry. We look forward to seeing actions that turn commitments into actual emissions reduction," she added.
Kadri Simson, EU Energy Commissioner, said she is happy to see the energy industry "taking immediate action on methane emissions".
"A clear commitment to measure and monitor emissions is an important first step for significantly reducing them and I am proud of what we have achieved together.
"There are many more steps to take to cut emissions along the entire value chain."
EU methane strategy
At the core of the effort is a comprehensive measurement-based methane reporting framework that will make it easier for officials, investors and the public to accurately track and compare performance across companies.
As stipulated in the EU methane strategy, the European Commission is planning to elaborate a legislative proposal on compulsory measurement, reporting and verification for all energy-related methane emissions, building on the OGMP 2.0 framework.
The OGMP 2.0 framework applies to the full oil and gas value chain, not only upstream production, but also midstream transportation and downstream processing and refining – areas that the commission states have substantial emissions potential, that are often left out of reporting.
The commission said:
"The goal is to enable the oil and gas industry to realise deep reductions in methane emissions over the next decade in a way that is transparent to civil society and governments.
In order to support the realisation of global climate targets, OGMP 2.0 aims to deliver a 45% reduction in the industry’s methane emissions by 2025, and a 60-75% reduction by 2030.
According to Claudio Descalzi, chief executive officer of ENI, an Italian multinational oil and gas company, reducing methane emissions is a crucial effort in the industry’s decarbonisation pathway.
"As a factor on which we can have an immediate and concrete positive impact, OGMP 2.0 offers an internationally recognised blueprint to companies across our industry willing to make improvements in their emission reductions in all phases of the value chain."