France-based oil major Total has extended its commitment to reducing its methane emissions by joining the second phase of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Oil & Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP 2.0).
The company has participated in the partnership since 2014, but the new phase will look at extending the reporting framework throughout the value chain.
As a cleaner alternative to other fossil fuels, like coal and fuel oil, natural gas is viewed as a bridge solution in the transition toward renewable energy. Unfortunately, methane, its primary constituent, is a potent greenhouse gas. In the past, excess natural gas from rigs has often been vented into the atmosphere or flared, with the latter resulting in carbon dioxide emissions. It may also leak undetected from equipment.
Total’s CEO, Patrick Pouyanné, emphasised the company’s ongoing commitment to reducing its methane emissions, pointing out that the extended partnership will improve monitoring and encourage best practices in the industry to be shared, especially with assets not operated by Total itself. He added:
“Our performance is amongst the industry’s best as we have already cut methane emissions by 45% since 2010. And in order to progress further on monitoring, Total invests in cutting-edge R&D programs to support the development of future detection and measurement technologies.”
Total, which also makes industrial lubricants like hydraulic oil, has cut its use of flaring by 80% since 2010, and it is committed to ending the practice entirely by 2030. Its new projects adhere to stringent design criteria to keep emissions close to zero.