Adnoc sets target to reduce methane emissions by 2025

Abu Dhabi oil producer aims for a methane intensity target of 0.15% by 2025, the 'lowest' in the Middle East

An oil pipeline control head sits on display outside the entrance to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) headquarters in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Adnoc is seeking to create world’s largest integrated refinery and petrochemical complex at Ruwais. Photographer: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg
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Adnoc has set a new methane emissions target for its upstream unit as part of its efforts to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions.

The state-owned oil company is aiming for the “Middle East’s lowest” methane intensity target of 0.15 per cent by 2025, it said in a statement on Monday.

Intensity-based targets measure the amount of methane or carbon dioxide per unit of energy or barrel of oil and gas produced.

“Our aim is to reduce the methane intensity from our operated oil and gas assets, at the same time as we meet the forecast growth in energy demand for decades to come,” Abdulmunim Al Kindy, executive director of Adnoc's people, technology and corporate support directorate.

The announcement came on the opening day of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition Conference (Adipec), one of the world’s largest energy industry events.

Adnoc plans to lower its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 25 per cent by 2030 as it adopts new sustainability goals.

In 2020, the company was among the five lowest greenhouse gas emitters in the oil and gas industry, with a methane intensity of 0.01 per cent.

The new target of 0.15 per cent reflects the total volume of methane emissions from all operated upstream oil and gas assets, the company said.

The UAE, which is Opec’s third-largest oil producer, plans to boost its production capacity to 5 million barrels per day by 2030.

Even as Covid-19 lockdowns drove carbon emissions down in 2020, methane emissions continued to climb.

But unlike carbon dioxide, methane breaks down in the atmosphere in about 10 years, meaning action to stop it from reaching the ozone layer can make a huge difference.

The UN estimates that human-caused methane emissions may be reduced by as much as 45 per cent this decade, if the right action is taken.

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“Reducing emissions of this powerful greenhouse gas is an essential short-term action if we are to meet the climate goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Mark Radka, chief of energy and the climate branch at the UN Environment Programme.

The UAE is investing Dh600 billion ($163.5bn) in clean and renewable energy projects over the next three decades as part of its strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The country is building the world’s largest solar park — the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park — in Dubai with a 5-gigawatt capacity.

Fossil fuel combustion will grow by less than 1 per cent in 2022, supported by a “strong” expansion of renewables and the rising adoption of electric vehicles, the International Energy Agency said in a recent report.

Carbon emissions jumped by about two billion tonnes in 2021 as the world economy rebounded from the effects of the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, which brought travel to a standstill.

Updated: October 31, 2022, 2:24 PM
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