At a time that may carry many question marks, an analysis was released accusing Saudi Aramco and Algeria’s Sonatrach, along with 28 other companies, of causing an increase in methane emissions from the energy sector globally, according to Bloomberg Agency.
What is controversial is that this study came to light hours before the start of the COP27 climate summit in Egypt; Which suggests that there are specific messages carried by the result that came out to the world, in the context of international pressure on oil and gas-producing countries, to switch to clean energy.
According to the specialized energy platform; This study is the second in less than 5 months, which was also previously funded by Bloomberg and specifically talked about the Hassi Messaoud gas field in Algeria, ignoring at the time the major emitting countries.
Surprisingly also, the same analysis acknowledged that there are several causes behind the release of methane gas; Most notably the agricultural sector; This raises questions about the reasons for focusing on fossil fuel companies at a time when global markets are experiencing an energy crisis.
In a situation that reflects the contradiction of the orientations of the major countries – especially the industrial ones – America has repeatedly demanded to increase the production of oil and fossil fuels (which are closely related to the release of methane gases), and made a special appeal to Saudi Arabia to seek this, criticizing the position of the OPEC + alliance to reduce production.
Turn a blind eye to American companies
Of the 30 global companies in the fossil fuel and energy sector that contribute nearly half of global methane emissions; Iran, Russia and China ranked the top three.
The National Iranian Oil Company topped the list, followed by the Russian gas giant Gazprom, while China Energy ranked third. Investments Chinese.
Russia’s Gazprom did not acknowledge the findings of Global Energy’s analysis; It confirmed that it has a low rate of methane emissions in the production chain, in addition to its continuous work to reduce the environmental impact of its activities.
Despite the drilling and exploration expansions undertaken by the American company ExxonMobil and plans to increase production; It ranked No. 13 in the list of the 30 companies that boost methane emissions levels in the energy sector.
It is noteworthy that the 12 companies that preceded the American company included Saudi Aramco (No. 7 on the list), the Algerian company Sonatrach (No. 8) and the Iraqi National Oil Company (No. 10).
Given the doubts about the purpose of launching the list of Bloomberg and Global Energy Monitor, a research organization, Americas recently, we find that the two companies at the top of the list belong to two countries subject to sanctions led by the United States.
In early June, while the European continent was mired in search of alternative sources of Russian gas to fill storage facilities in preparation for the winter season, the American Bloomberg Agency – also – came out with a study accusing the largest Algerian and international gas fields, the Hassi Rmel field, of emitting quantities of methane gas.
It is also strange that the study appeared at the time, while agreements to increase shipments of Algerian gas to Europe were in full swing, as it was the third largest exporter to the old continent, accusing the world’s largest fields of emitting methane gas for more than 40 years.
Neither the previous study nor the list of recently exported companies dealt with methane emissions data for major industrialized countries and their companies, which have undertaken to increase the pace of drilling and exploration to explore oil and gas.
The specialized energy platform used satellite images in an extensive investigation to reveal more details about the Algerian gas field.
The pace of this study did not calm down until it was followed by a new study issued by the geo-analytics company “Kayros”. However, the Kairos study denied the data of Bloomberg Agency and the “Greenpeace” organization, which claimed that the Algerian gas field caused the release of large and continuous quantities of methane emissions.
The graph below reveals the volume of methane gas emissions for a number of fossil fuel-producing countries, according to estimates last year (2021), and the chart shows America ranked second, while Saudi Arabia ranked sixth and Algeria ranked seventh, according to data from the International Energy Agency and what was monitored by the platform. Specialized Power:
Sector emissions and a proposal for a solution
With the current escalation of the tone of environmental and climate goals, governments and institutions – including the International Energy Agency – are calling on fossil fuel producers to stop emitting methane, after they have worked, for decades, to cause it, especially in light of the lack of the infrastructure necessary to get rid of methane. of it, according to the analysis.
Methane is one of the main components of natural gas, but the rate of its release is increasing in the production of oil and coal, and given that the 30 companies are responsible for half of the volume of methane emissions in the energy sector; Dealing with these emissions spares the atmosphere that huge share.
The authors of the analysis concluded that these companies can avoid methane gas without incurring an additional cost, by taking advantage of its emissions to produce more natural gas and making profits by selling it.
One of the authors of the analysis, Mason Inman, indicated that this could be achieved by observing the discrepancy in the volume of methane emissions between oil and gas units extracted in each country separately.
The following graph shows that America ranked second in the list of the 10 most methane emitting countries through coal mines for 20 years, while Saudi Arabia or Algeria had no place in this list, according to data monitored by the specialized energy platform:
The oil, gas and coal industry contributed about 126 million metric tons of methane emissions during the past year (2021), according to Global Energy Monitor analysis; The 19 oil and gas companies and 11 coal mines caused 54 million tons of estimated emissions for the same year.
Although there are several causes behind methane emissions – led by the agricultural sector – the energy sector is responsible for only 35% of them, according to the analysis. This raises the debate about the continued focus on fossil fuel companies, while markets are thirsty for energy flows.
Organized international pledges to reduce its emissions continued until it included 120 countries led by the United States and the European Union, and these pledges aim to reduce emissions by 30% by the end of the current decade (2030), in line with the path of preventing global warming levels to more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
One of the tools to achieve the pledges’ interim target is the proposal to reduce the 30 fossil fuel companies included in the Global Energy Monitor’s analysis of their methane emissions levels to “zero”.
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