The Hague-based LNG-giant Shell set a target to maintain methane emissions intensity below 0.2 percent by 2025, in all its operated oil and gas assets.
“This methane target complements Shell’s ambition to cut the Net Carbon Footprint of our energy products by around half by 2050, which we announced in November 2017,” said Maarten Wetselaar, Shell’s Integrated Gas & New Energies Director.
To maintain this methane target, Shell is implementing programmes, including using infrared cameras to scan for methane emissions, deploying technology to repair leaks, and replacing high-bleed pneumatically-operated controllers with low emission alternatives, Shell said.
Shell noted that there remains uncertainty with measuring methane emissions, adding that, “this is an industry-wide issue,” Wetselaar said, adding that shell aims to get a more accurate understanding of the emissions.
The target for methane, which has a higher impact on global warming than carbon dioxide when released into the atmosphere, will be measured against a baseline Shell leak rate, which is currently estimated to range from 0.01% to 0.8% across the company’s oil and gas assets.
“Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, but it has a relatively short lifetime in the atmosphere. That means reducing methane emissions brings immediate climate benefits, buying some time while we work out longer-term solutions,” said Mark Radka, Head of UN Environment’s Energy and Climate Branch.
He noted that Shell’s move sends signals to the rest of the industry.
In 2017, Shell brought together industry, international institutions, non-governmental organizations and academics to develop a set of Methane Guiding Principles, which focus on continually working to reduce emissions of methane throughout the gas industry and have now been signed by 16 companies.
Shell has also been an active member of the World Bank-sponsored Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership since 2002. As part of the partnership, the World Bank has developed the Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative, which Shell signed in 2015.