Imperial College London’s Sustainable Gas Institute builds principles with eight companies to help reduce methane emissions

Eight energy companies – Shell, BP, Eni, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Statoil, Total and Wintershall,  have jointly committed to reducing the methane emissions across all stages of the natural gas supply chain from production through to consumer use.

Natural gas is viewed as a lower carbon energy source than other fossil fuels. However, methane emissions in the gas supply chain may reduce this relative climate benefit. The role of natural gas in a low-carbon future may be influenced by the extent to which methane emissions can be reduced.

The Guiding Principles were developed in collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund, the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Gas Union, the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative Climate Investments, the Rocky Mountain Institute, The Energy and Resources Institute, The Sustainable Gas Institute at Imperial College London, and United Nations Environment.

The principles document addresses five priority areas; reducing emissions, advancing strong performance across gas value chains, improve the accuracy of monitoring of emissions data, advocating sound policy and regulatory on methane emissions as well as increasing transparency.

Dr Adam Hawkes, Co-Director of the Sustainable Gas Institute said of the Initiative, “The industry has recognised the importance of methane emissions in the natural gas supply chain. Our Institute supports action to minimise emissions, while simultaneously building a better knowledge base to continue to tackle the issue in the future.”

The Sustainable Gas Institute’s first White Paper, published in September 2015, examined  both methane and carbon dioxide emissions from the natural supply chain. The authors reviewed 250 current papers to assess our current knowledge of emissions globally, and to identify where there are gaps in our understanding.

Image: Representatives at the Royal Society meeting yesterday (Source: Shell). Centre: Professor Nigel Brandon, Co-Director of the Sustainable Gas Institute and Dean of Engineering at Imperial College.