February 23, 2024

A total of 50 oil and gas companies representing more than 40 percent of global oil production have joined the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter (OGDC), which is aimed at achieving global energy transition goals across the oil and gas sectors, at the COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates.

National oil companies (NOCs) represent over 60 percent of the signatories to the charter, which is the largest-ever number of NOCs committing to a decarbonization initiative, according to a news release from COP28.

The charter signatories have committed to net-zero operations by 2050 at the latest, ending routine flaring by 2030, and near-zero upstream methane emissions, according to the release. The actions being considered by the charter members include investing in renewables, low-carbon fuels and negative emissions technologies; enhancing measurement, monitoring, reporting and independent verification of greenhouse gas emissions and their performance and progress in reducing emissions; increasing alignment with broader industry best practices to accelerate decarbonization of operations; implementing best practices by 2030 to collectively reduce emission intensity; and reducing energy poverty and providing secure and affordable energy to support the development of all economies.

COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber said, “The launch of the OGDC is a great first step — and whilst many national oil companies have adopted net-zero 2050 targets for the first time, I know that they and others, can and need to do more. We need the entire industry to keep 1.5C within reach and set even stronger ambitions for decarbonization”.

The OGDC is a key initiative under the Global Decarbonization Accelerator (GDA), which was launched at the World Climate Action Summit at COP28. The GDA has been informed by the thinking of key stakeholders, including international organizations, governments and policy makers, non-governmental organizations, and CEOs from every industrial sector, according to the release.

The NOC signatories of the charter are ADNOC, Bapco Energies, Ecopetrol, EGAS, Equinor, GOGC, INPEX Corporation, KazMunaiGas, Mari Petroleum, Namcor, National Oil Company of Libya, Nilepet, NNPC, OGDC, OMV, ONGC, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Pertamina, Petoro, Petrobras, Petroleum Development Oman, Petronas, PTTEP, Saudi Aramco, SNOC, SOCAR, Sonangol, Uzbekneftegaz, ZhenHua Oil, and YPF.

The international oil companies that signed the OGDC are Azule Energy, BP, Cepsa, COSMO Energy, Crescent Petroleum, Dolphin Energy Limited, Energean Oil & Gas, Eni, EQT Corporation, Exxonmobil, ITOCHU, LUKOIL, Mitsui & Co, Oando plc, Occidental Petroleum, Puma Energy (Trafigura), Repsol, Shell, TotalEnergies, and Woodside Energy Group.

Oil and Gas Organizations to Assist OGDC Members

Meanwhile, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP), Methane Guiding Principles (MGP), Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) said in a joint statement of intent that they plan to work closely with other organizations and associations and technical service providers to help deliver on the OGDC’s ambitions.

The group plans to build a framework to share expertise to help companies reduce methane emissions and flaring in line with OGDC objectives, working closely with organizations such as Ipieca, the UN Environment Programme and the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring and Methane Reduction Partnership trust fund, according to the statement.

According to a separate statement from the OGCI, the group “will build on existing frameworks and use existing expertise and partnerships to quickly stand up a technical support framework available to any company seeking to reduce its methane emissions and flaring”. The immediate focus areas are outreach and engagement, promoting the adoption of guidance, standards and reporting frameworks and enhanced access to technical support. Existing networks and initiatives include those in the MGP-led Advancing Global Methane Reductions (AGMR) country-level engagement and OGCI’s flagship Satellite Monitoring Campaign, the statement said.

“IOGP has deep capability through its well-established communities of practice, expertise and technical subject matter experts to help address methane emissions and flaring in line with the Oil & Gas Decarbonization Charter (OGDC) ambitions”, IOGP CEO Graham Henley said. “Over the past three years we have been developing materials to support our members monitor, measure and reduce emissions, and supporting them to drive down methane and other emissions. It’s an exciting opportunity to put that expertise to use, and to further build on our efforts to help the industry decarbonize”.

“OGCI and its member companies have collectively made good progress reducing methane emissions and flaring in recent years and we have a lot of experience we would like to share with other oil and gas companies in support of the OGDC ambitions”, OGCI Executive Committee Chair Bjørn Otto Sverdrup said. “Indeed, we are already sharing some of that experience through our flagship Satellite Monitoring Program which collects high-resolution data on large methane plumes and uses confidential engagement with local operators to help them identify and address the sources of the emissions”.

“The OGDC is bringing a whole new set of companies into the global methane reduction effort. Some are ready to go”, EDP Vice President of Energy Transition Matt Watson said. “Others will need more support to deliver major emission reductions on the rapid timelines required to meet climate goals. EDF is pleased to lend its expertise – particularly in the areas of methane monitoring and emissions reporting – to help companies acquire the knowledge and the tools to meet their commitments in ways that are reliable, durable and transparent”.

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