Methane continues to pose a significant challenge for the oil and gas industry. A recent report from Wood Mackenzie’s New Horizons emphasizes the urgency for both companies and governments to implement robust measures to curb emissions and establish new standards.
The report, titled Mission Invisible: Tackling the Oil and Gas Industry’s Methane Challenge, underscores the critical role of methane in contributing to almost a third of the emissions-induced global temperature increase since the onset of the industrial era. Furthermore, the oil and gas sector is estimated to be responsible for up to a quarter of human-caused (anthropogenic) methane emissions.
Wood Mackenzie’s Emissions Benchmarking Tool reveals that individual methane losses per field may appear modest, typically falling below 500 kilograms per hour (equivalent to around 0.65 million cubic feet per day). However, the cumulative impact is substantial, with approximately 96% of all fields exhibiting emissions at this scale.
This widespread issue underscores the magnitude of the challenge, particularly as larger fields with more significant emissions are often distributed across multiple production facilities, making precise quantification more challenging. Addressing these cumulative emissions and setting effective standards will be crucial in mitigating the industry’s impact on methane emissions.
Methane emissions by source: