French major Total SE has delivered its first carbon-neutral liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo, with the shipment going to state-controlled China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), Total management said this week.

“This first LNG shipment, whose carbon emissions have been offset throughout the value chain, represents a new step as we seek to support our customers toward carbon neutrality,” said Total’s Laurent Vivier, president for gas. 

The carbon footprint of the cargo was offset with verified emissions certificates used to finance the Hebei Guyuan wind power project in northern China that would reduce emissions from coal-fired generation and the Kariba REDD+ Forest Protection Project designed to protect Zimbabwe’s forest, Total said.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné said earlier this month the company plans to become a net zero carbon emitter by 2050 as it builds its presence in the “two fastest growing energy markets,” LNG and electricity.

Total is the world’s second-largest privately held LNG stakeholder with a portfolio scheduled to reach almost 50 million metric tons/year (mmty), equivalent to 6.4 Bcf/d of gas, by 2025 and a global market share of 10%, management said. Total sold more than 34 mmt of LNG in 2019 and has stakes in liquefaction plants in Qatar, Nigeria, Russia, Norway, Oman, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Australia and Angola.

LNG buyers are increasingly looking at lowering the carbon footprint of the fuel to reduce their overall emissions.

CNOOC subsidiary CNOOC Gas & Power Group Co. Ltd. in June signed an agreement to import the first two carbon neutral LNG cargoes into China from Royal Dutch Shell plc. The cargoes were offset by credits from a variety of nature-based projects, including Shell-supported afforestation projects in China’s Qinghai and Xinjiang provinces, management said.

Shell, the world’s largest LNG trader, in June 2019 signed deals to sell the world’s first two carbon neutral cargoes, with one going to South Korea’s GS Energy and the other to Japanese utility Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. The cargoes were expected to be delivered by July 2019,.

Carbon credits used to offset the carbon footprints of those cargoes were bought from Shell’s global portfolio of nature-based projects, including the Katingan Peatland Restoration and Conservation Project in Indonesia and the Cordillera Azul National Park Project in Peru, management said.