Minimising Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Petroleum Sector: The Opportunity for Emerging Producers

  • Nov 2022
  • Beth Mitchell, Valerie Marcel, Naadira Ogeer, Deborah Gordon

The importance of limiting greenhouse gas emissions

  • Limiting climate change requires urgent, significant reductions of GHG emissions by the petroleum sector
  • The bulk of emissions relate to the end use of petroleum products, and are spread among many users, these are difficult to reduce
  • Emissions from upstream production of oil and gas are concentrated in producing countries that can act to have a significant impact by reducing them

The Opportunity for New Producers: To take the lead and protect their projects from stranding

  • Changing an established petroleum sector, designed for different standards, is very difficult
  • New producers have the opportunity to design their laws, regulatory systems, monitoring regimes and projects to minimise GHG emissions.
  • Emissions intensities vary widely; using existing technologies and best practice can enable new producers to be at the low end of those ranges
  • Doing so should make their projects less likely to become stranded as climate change related restrictions tighten

Minimising GHG emissions should be at the centre of all decisions about the sector

From initial project design => Through operating practices => To a fully funded decommissioning plan

The paper discusses

  • The levers that governments have at their disposal
  • The challenges governments face in moving from pledges to implementation
  • Suggests a framework for decision making and to support low GHG projects
  • Makes recommendations in each of the key areas
  • Provides links to further resources

Read the report: Minimising Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Petroleum Sector

This policy paper was co-produced by the African Natural Resources Management and Investment Centre (ANRC) of the African Development Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the New Producers Group (NPG). It was also supported by a NORAD grant.


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