OGCI launches large-scale carbon capture initiative

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), an initiative to tackle climate change and backed by 13 oil companies, has launched a new initiative to unlock large-scale investment in carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS).

Dubbed a crucial tool to achieve net-zero emissions, OGCI’s CCUS KickStarter initiative is designed to help decarbonize multiple industrial hubs around the world, starting with five hubs in the US, UK, Norway, the Netherlands, and China.

According to OGCI, the aim of the KickStarter is to create the necessary conditions to facilitate a commercially viable, safe and environmentally responsible CCUS industry, with an early aspiration to double the amount of carbon dioxide that is currently stored globally before 2030.

In parallel, OGCI has launched a joint CCUS Acceleration Framework with the 11 countries supporting the Clean Energy Ministerial CCUS Initiative, which brings governments and industries together to create a global, commercial CCUS industry at the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement.

OGCI, formed in 2014, is today made up of 13 oil and gas companies: BP, Chevron, CNPC, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Occidental, Pemex, Petrobras, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell and Total, accounting for 32% of global operated oil and gas production.

Methane emissions, Carbon pricing

A year ago, OGCI announced a target to reduce by 2025 the collective average methane intensity of its members’ upstream gas and oil operations by one fifth to below 0.25%, with the ambition to achieve 0.20%, corresponding to a reduction by one third.

In an update on Monday, OGCI showed progress towards its methane intensity target announced last year, saying the members are on track to meet the methane intensity target, having reduced collective methane intensity by 9% in 2018. In addition to the methane intensity target, OGCI is now working on a carbon intensity target to reduce by 2025 the collective average carbon intensity of member companies’ aggregated upstream oil and gas operations, OGCI said.

The carbon intensity target will take into account carbon dioxide and methane emissions from members’ aggregated upstream oil and gas operations emissions from a baseline of 24kg CO2e/boe in 2017.

“Member companies have developed a baseline and are aligning methodology and assumptions to work towards the collective target. Reducing carbon intensity involves actions including improving energy efficiency, minimizing flaring, upgrading facilities and co-generating electricity and useful heat,” OGCI said.

Furthermore, OGCI said all of its members have pledged to support policies that attribute an explicit or implicit value to carbon.

“Acknowledging the role that attributing a value to carbon plays as one of the most cost-efficient ways to achieve the low carbon transition as early as possible, OGCI supports the introduction of appropriate policies or carbon value mechanisms by governments,” OGCI said.

OGCI members said: “We are scaling up the speed, scale, and impact of our actions in support of the Paris Agreement. Accelerating the energy transition requires sustainable, large-scale actions, different pathways and innovative technological solutions to keep global warming well below 2°C. We are committed to enhancing our efforts as a constructive partner with governments, civil society, business and other stakeholders working together to transition to a net zero economy.”

“The progress towards our methane intensity target makes us confident that the actions we are taking deliver results. We are on track to reach our methane intensity target of 0.25% by 2025. Encouraged by our experience of working together on reducing methane emissions, we are now working on a target to reduce by 2025 the collective average carbon intensity of our aggregated upstream oil and gas emissions.”

Global warming accelerating

While the OGCI members might be meeting some of their targets, the World Meteorological Organization on Thursday said not enough is being done to tackle the issue, and that the efforts need to be tripled to meet the Paris Agreement goal of not allowing the global temperature to increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

According to WMO, the 2015-2019 period is set to be the warmest five-year period on record. Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere have also increased to record levels, locking in the warming trend for generations to come, WMO said.

The WMO report on The Global Climate in 2015-2019, released to inform the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, says that the global average temperature has increased by 1.1°C since the pre-industrial period, and by 0.2°C compared to 2011-2015.

“Climate change causes and impacts are increasing rather than slowing down.”  

An accompanying WMO report on greenhouse gas concentrations shows that 2015-2019 has seen a continued increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and other key greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to new records, with CO2 growth rates nearly 20% higher than the previous five years. CO2 remains in the atmosphere for centuries and in the ocean for even longer. Preliminary data from a subset of greenhouse gas observational sites for 2019 indicate that CO2 global concentrations are on track to reach or even exceed 410 ppm by the end of 2019, WMO said.

“Climate change causes and impacts are increasing rather than slowing down,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, who is co-chair of the Science Advisory Group of the UN Climate Summit.

“Sea level rise has accelerated and we are concerned that an abrupt decline in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, which will exacerbate future rise. As we have seen this year with tragic effect in the Bahamas and Mozambique, sea-level rise and intense tropical storms led to humanitarian and economic catastrophes,” he said.

“It is highly important that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, notably from energy production, industry and transport.”

 

“The challenges are immense. Besides mitigation of climate change, there is a growing need to adapt. According to the recent Global Adaptation Commission report the most powerful way to adapt is to invest in early warning services, and pay special attention to impact-based forecasts,” he said.

“It is highly important that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions, notably from energy production, industry, and transport. This is critical if we are to mitigate climate change and meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement,” he said.

“To stop a global temperature increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the level of ambition needs to be tripled. And to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees, it needs to be multiplied by five,” he said


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