After carbon dioxide, methane emissions are the second largest contributor to global warming. Although there is less of it in the atmosphere and has a much shorter lifespan than carbon dioxide, it absorbs energy more efficiently. Assuming that one tonne of methane equals 30 times more carbon dioxide, the IEA said, the total global emissions of oil and gas companies matched the European Union’s energy-related carbon footprint. ‘last year.
The IEA has warned that emissions could increase if fossil fuel production increases again. He called on companies to do more to fix leaks in pipelines and production plants, noting that many could be fixed at no net cost after the sale of the stored methane. The report suggests that under the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario, the oil and gas sector must reduce its emissions by more than 70% by 2030.
While methane leaks can be difficult to locate, newer satellites are able to identify them on a large scale. The IEA included satellite data in its methane tracker for the first time this year. Data from analytics firm Kayrros indicated that emissions were down in Iraq, Kuwait, Turkmenistan and the United States in 2020, although they increased in Russia, Algeria and Kazakhstan. However, the organization noted that satellites are not the only way to locate the source of large leaks, as they do not currently track data for offshore operations or in equatorial or northern regions.