We have set a target to keep our methane emissions intensity for operated oil and gas assets (including liquefied natural gas) below 0.2% by 2025.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. When it is released into the atmosphere it has a much higher global warming impact than carbon dioxide. Natural gas consists mainly of methane.
Methane emissions performance
Shell’s methane emissions intensity target covers all oil and gas assets (including liquefied natural gas) for which Shell is the operator.
In 2022, we met our target to keep methane emissions intensity below 0.2%. Our methane emissions intensity averaged 0.05% for assets with marketed gas and 0.01% for assets without marketed gas. It ranged from below 0.01% to 0.7% in 2022, compared with below 0.01% to 1.5% in 2021.
In 2022, Shell’s total methane emissions were 40 thousand tonnes compared with 55 thousand tonnes in 2021. The decrease was, in part, due to a shutdown of the Trans Niger Pipeline, the handover of operations in OML 11 and reduced flaring at SNEPCo (all in Nigeria), as well as the divestment of our Permian assets in the USA. Methane emissions were less than 2% of Shell’s greenhouse gas emissions on a CO2 equivalent basis in 2022. Around 65% of our reported methane emissions in 2022 came from flaring and venting in our upstream and midstream operations.
Over the last few years, we have implemented more accurate methods for calculating fugitive emissions. We also encourage industry-wide action on methane emissions reduction by participating in voluntary initiatives.
For example, we co-developed the voluntary UN-led Oil & Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) 2.0 reporting framework and continue to implement enhanced methane emissions measurement and reporting. Under OGMP 2.0, Shell achieved Gold Standard status for the 2022 reporting year.
We participate in other multi-stakeholder groups, such as the Methane Guiding Principles (MGP) coalition, which we initiated in 2017, the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) and the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative. In 2022, members of MGP, including Shell, developed an oil and gas sector toolkit, which connects policymakers and regulators with resources and institutions to support methane policy and regulation development in countries that joined the Global Methane Pledge. In 2022, OGCI launched the Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions by 2030 initiative, which Shell joined.
We continue to reduce methane emission sources across Shell-operated assets. For instance, we have reduced reported methane emissions at our QGC natural gas project in Australia by using multiple approaches to detect and prevent emissions, including reduced flaring and venting, as well as implementing more accurate methods for calculating fugitive emissions.
We also work with our joint ventures to help them develop emission monitoring programmes. For example, in 2022, we held sessions with several joint-venture partners to discuss the importance of methane emissions management and the benefits of the OGMP 2.0 reporting framework.
Read more about Shell and methane emissions at www.shell.com/energy-and-innovation/natural-gas/methane-emissions.