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Methane emissions

Powering progress

By 2025, we expect to have kept the methane emissions intensity of Shell-operated assets to below 0.2%.

Methane emissions performance

Shell’s methane emissions intensity target covers all Upstream and Integrated Gas oil and gas assets for which Shell is the operator. In 2021, our methane emissions intensity averaged 0.06% for assets with marketed gas and 0.01% for assets without marketed gas. Shell’s methane emissions intensity ranged from below 0.01% to 1.5% in 2021 compared with 0.01% to 0.6% in 2020.

Methane (CH4) emissions

thousand tonnes


Methane emissions by source in 2021 [A]


40% 35% 13% 13% a b c d Flaring Venting and process a b Fugitive c Combustion d 40%35%13%13%abcdFlaringVenting and processabFugitivecCombustiond
[A] Percentages do not add up to 100% due to rounding.

In 2021, Shell’s total methane emissions were 55 thousand tonnes compared with 67 thousand tonnes in 2020, in part due to reduced methane emissions reported for Malaysia because we relinquished the operatorship of two complexes (E11PA and E11PB) on December 31, 2020. We also implemented a more accurate method for calculating fugitive emissions at the Shell-operated QGC natural gas facility in Australia. Methane emissions were less than 3% of Shell’s greenhouse gas emissions on a CO2-equivalent basis in 2021. More than 65% of our reported methane emissions in 2021 came from flaring and venting in our upstream and midstream operations.

We encourage industry-wide action on methane emissions reduction by participating in voluntary initiatives.

For example, we participate in multi-stakeholder groups, such as the Methane Guiding Principles coalition, which we initiated in 2017, and the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) 2.0, which seeks to improve measurement and reporting. In 2021, environmental organisations and energy companies, including Shell, developed policy recommendations to support European Union (EU) legislation for ambitious methane emissions reductions across the supply chain of natural gas consumed within the EU.

Read more about Shell and methane emissions at

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