Methane programme – impact and outputs

The research outputs from the The Methane and Environment Programme (MEP) have already had a positive impact on industry and policy makers in a variety of ways.


Here are some examples of where our research and expertise has been used to guide decisions on reducing emissions:

  • MEP played a key role in the development of the ‘Guiding Principles of Methane’, an agreement signed by 8 of the largest oil and gas companies to commit to monitor and reduce supply chain emissions in November 2017 [see news item].
  • Our work has been cited by the UK Committee on Climate Change report on the compatability of UK onshore oil and gas development with climate targets (July 2016), the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies report on methane emissions (July 2017).
  • We also contributed to, and were cited by, the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook special report on natural gas (November 2017).
  • The Programme has advised the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
  • Internationally, we have presented at European Parliament on methane emissions from the energy industry in 2018, and the UN Palais de Nations for the UNECE Group of Experts on Gas, in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
  • Dr Paul Balcombe also gave the keynote presentation at the International Gas Union Methane Emissions Conference, London March 2017.

Since the programme began in 2015, we have produced a set of key research outputs including white papers, journal articles and presentations.


Journal publications

P. Balcombe, J. Speirs, E. Johnson, J. Martin, N. Brandon, A. D. Hawkes, The carbon credentials of hydrogen gas networks and supply chains, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 91, August 2018, Pages 1077-1088 [download]

P. Balcombe, K. Anderson, J. Speirs, N. Brandon, and A. Hawkes – The Natural Gas Supply Chain: The Importance of Methane and Carbon Dioxide Emissions – ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2017, 5 (1), pp 3–2 (Journal) [Article]

P. Balcombe, N.P.Brandon, A.D. Hawkes – Characterising the distribution of methane and carbon dioxide emissions from the natural gas supply chain – Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 172, 20 January 2018, pp 2019-2032 [Article]


White Papers

Balcombe, P., Anderson, K., Speirs, J., Brandon, N., and Hawkes A. (2015) ‘Methane & CO2 emissions from the natural gas supply chain report’ Sustainable Gas Institute, Imperial College London.

The Sustainable Gas Institute’s first White Paper is a comprehensive evidence-based review of the available data on both methane and carbon dioxide emissions from the natural supply chain. The paper provides recommendations with the aim of assessing and improving climate mitigation potential at each stage in the chain.

[Full report, Summary, launch video, and dissemination page]