Methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector fell by an estimated 10% in 2020, mainly because of production curtailments in response to the Covid-19 crisis, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Methane Tracker 2021 report published Monday.

methane emissions

Oil and gas operations emitted more than 70 million tons of methane into the atmosphere last year, which is broadly equivalent to the total energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the entire European Union, researchers said.

The analysis shows that “a large part of the drop in methane emissions in 2020 occurred not because companies were taking more care to avoid methane leaks from their operations, but simply because they were producing less oil and gas,” researchers said. “As such, there is clearly...