Skip to main content

Methane emissions

Maintain methane emissions intensity of Shell-operated oil and gas assets (including liquefied natural gas) to below 0.2% and achieve near-zero methane emissions by 2030.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas; its impact on climate change over 20 years is more than 80 times greater than CO2. While methane is much more efficient in trapping radiation, it is also a short-lived climate pollutant. Reducing emissions of methane is considered one of the most effective near-term actions to keep the more ambitious 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement within reach.

Our target is to maintain methane emissions intensity of Shell-operated oil and gas assets (including liquefied natural gas) to below 0.2% and achieve near-zero methane emissions by 2030.

Methane emissions performance

Shell’s methane emissions intensity target covers all Integrated Gas and Upstream oil and gas assets for which Shell is the operator.

In 2023, we again met our target to keep methane emissions intensity below 0.2%. Our methane emissions intensity averaged 0.05% for facilities with marketed gas and 0.001% for facilities without marketed gas. It ranged from less than 0.01% to 0.6% in 2023, compared with less than 0.01% to 0.7% in 2022.

Methane emissions

Thousand tonnes

0 50 100 150 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14

Methane emissions by source in 2023


53% 24% 12% 11% a b c d Flaring Venting and process a b Fugitive c Combustion d 53% 24% 12% 11% a b c d Flaring Venting and process a b Fugitive c Combustion d

In 2023, Shell’s total methane emissions were 41 thousand tonnes compared with 40 thousand tonnes in 2022. The increase was due to venting (which includes maintenance at our Prelude floating LNG facility, Australia and operational issues at Sarawak Shell Berhad, Malaysia) and higher reported emissions from integrated gas assets in Canada resulting from the adoption of enhanced source level measurements in line with Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) reporting requirements. Methane emissions were around 2% of Shell’s greenhouse gas emissions on a CO2 equivalent basis in 2023. More than 65% of our reported methane emissions in 2023 came from flaring and venting in our upstream and midstream operations.

Methane reduction at Shell-operated and non-operated sites

We continue to reduce methane emission sources across Shell-operated assets. By the end of 2023, around 80% of fugitive emission sources at our operated oil, gas and liquified natural gas production facilities used leak detection and repair programmes to tackle leaks and monitor equipment.

We have reduced reported methane emissions by using multiple approaches to detect and prevent emissions, including reduced flaring and venting, as well as implementing more accurate methods for calculating emissions. At our QGC natural gas project in Australia, for instance, we have reduced methane emissions from gas dehydration facilities by around 2,800 tonnes since 2017.

We also work with our joint ventures to help them develop emission monitoring programmes. We have encouraged our non-operated ventures to adopt the voluntary UN-led OGMP 2.0 reporting framework. Many of our non-operated venture partners became signatories to the OGMP programme in 2023. They include Nigeria LNG, Oman LNG, Atlantic LNG and North Caspian Operating Company.

Working with others to reduce methane emissions

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

For example, we are a founding signatory of the OGMP 2.0 reporting framework and continue to implement enhanced methane emissions measurement and reporting. In 2023, we were awarded Gold Standard status for our OGMP 2.0 reporting for the third consecutive year.

We participate in other multi-stakeholder groups, such as the Methane Guiding Principles (MGP) coalition, which we initiated in 2017, the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative and the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative.

In 2023, members of the MGP, including Shell, started to engage with governments and companies in 20 countries, informing them about methane policies and regulations and sharing best practice on methane emissions reduction along the gas value chain.

We intend to contribute to the World Bank’s Global Flaring and Methane Reduction Fund to help finance methane emissions detection, quantification and abatement projects in low- and middle-income countries.

Shell also signed the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter that was launched at COP28 in 2023. The charter aims to reduce methane and greenhouse gas emissions across the oil and gas industry as a whole, including through collaboration and sharing best practice.

Read more about Shell and methane emissions at

carbon dioxide
View complete glossary
28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Climate Change Conferences
View complete glossary
liquefied natural gas
View complete glossary
United Nations
View complete glossary