An oil and natural gas climate accord made up of 13 of the largest global producers on Monday launched initiatives that include decarbonizing industrial hubs to reduce methane emissions.
The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) said it plans to boost large-scale commercial carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) worldwide to support the United Nations climate accord, aka the Paris Agreement, reached by nearly 200 countries in late 2015.
The initiatives were unveiled at an annual event in New York City by members BP plc, Chevron Corp., China National Petroleum Corp., Eni SpA, Equinor SA, ExxonMobil Corp., Occidental Petroleum Corp., Petroleos Mexicanos, Petróleo Brasileiro SA, Spain’s Repsol SA, Saudi Arabia Oil Co., Royal Dutch Shell plc and Total SA.
“We are scaling up the speed, scale and impact of our actions in support of the Paris Agreement,” the members said. “Accelerating the energy transition requires sustainable, large-scale actions, different pathways and innovative technological solutions to keep global warming well below 2 degrees 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.”
Progress toward the members’ methane intensity target “makes us confident about the actions we are taking to 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.”
The 13 members together account for 32% of global operated oil and gas production. Although the Trump administration has signaled it wants to drop out of the Paris accord, OGCI members have continued progressing their plans to decarbonize, including ExxonMobil. BP shareholders at the annual meeting earlier this year also voted 99% to approve a resolution to align the business strategy with the Paris accord.
Large-scale CCUS projects would begin with oil and gas hubs in the United States, UK, Norway, the Netherlands and China.
The goal “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,” the OGCI said.
Members also announced that they reduced their collective methane intensity target in 2018 by 9%. In addition, members 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.”
Although the U.S. government does not impose a carbon tax, producers long have been in support of enacting one. Big Oil operators and many independents that work overseas have for years used carbon pricing as greenhouse emissions are regulated in some regions of the world already. In addition, BP, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total are corporate founders of the Climate Leadership Council, which is working to replace some U.S. environmental regulations with a simplified carbon tax on businesses.
The OGCI began in 2014 and has a climate investments fund with more than $1 billion to develop, deploy and scale-up technologies and business models to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The fund now has investments in almost 15 projects, with seven made in the past year alone.