Direct greenhouse gas emissions
million tonnes CO2 equivalent
We track air emissions released to the atmosphere from our upstream and downstream operations including routine and non-routine activities:
Greenhouse gas emissions
The direct GHG emissions from facilities we operate were 76 million tonnes on a carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent basis in 2014, which is higher than 73 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent reported in 2013. The main reasons for this increase were the restart of production at Majnoon in Iraq following completion of refurbishment activities and startup of the new Central Processing Facility in September 2013 and higher production at the Pearl GTL plant in Qatar, leading to increased operational flaring of excess waste gas. Excluding flaring our GHG emissions fell due to improved energy efficiency in many of our operations, the divestment of the Geelong refinery in Australia and unplanned downtime at our Moerdijk chemical plant in the Netherlands.
Around 45% of our GHG emissions came from the refineries and chemical plants in our Downstream business. The production of oil and gas in our Upstream business accounted for around 50% of our GHG emissions and our shipping activities for less than 3%. We continue to work on improving operational performance and energy efficiency to reduce GHG emissions.
The indirect GHG emissions from the energy we purchased (electricity, heat and steam) were 10 million tonnes on a CO2 equivalent basis in 2014, consistent with 2013. We estimate that the CO2 emissions from the use of our refinery and natural gas products were around 600 million tonnes in 2014. Further information on GHG emissions is available at www.shell.com/ghg.
In 2014, methane emissions contributed less than 5% to our direct GHG emissions on a CO2 equivalent basis. The majority of our methane emissions relate to associated gas from oil production. We are working to manage our methane emissions as part of our programme on GHG management.
Volatile organic compounds
Our emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) increased in 2014 compared with 2013. This was mainly due to increased production in Majnoon, Iraq. We expect our VOC emissions to decrease in 2015 as a result of our efforts to reduce flaring and venting.