PEFTEC 2017 - Abstract

Abstract Title: Best practice presentation of European (including Russian) examples for GHG emissions of the natural gas supply chain
Abstract Type: Oral
Presenter Name: Dr Maximilian Kuhn
Co-authors:Dr Konstantin Romanov
Company/Organisation: PAO Gazprom
Session Choice: Regulation and drivers

Abstract Information :

In the context of climate change, methane is considered a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG) and ozone (O3) precursor. In the past, discussions on climate policy often focused exclusively on carbon dioxide (CO2); however, but these emissions are only one of the ways in which human activities affect the global climate. Methane (CH4) and other forms of atmospheric pollution [summarized within the "basket of six" greenhouse gases (GHG)] also play a role.

With the surge in unconventional gas production in North America, there was increased discussion of methane leaks during unconventional hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and further emphasis on methane emission of the natural gas supply chain. Events such as the rupture of the underground natural gas storage facility in California's Aliso Canyon last October (2016) - which was an exceptional situation - have raised public's attention to methane . In this context, it needs to be highlighted that safety measures and industry best practices in Europe are very different from those in North America. The requirements of design rules, rigorous maintenance plans, as well as procedures and standards in place (including crisis management) give a high degree of security for underground gas storage (UGS) wells dedicated to avoiding such events in the European natural gas supply chain.

In March 2016, in response to mounting pressure over methane emissions, the United States and Canada (joined by Mexico) announced a pledge to cut CH4 emissions from new or modified oil and gas wells by 40 % to 45 % from 2012 levels by 2025 in order to help combat climate change and reduce air pollution.

In a similar vein, the European Commission advocates to change how legislators consider the climate impacts of methane and are pushing national regulators and policymakers to follow the North American example. In the context of global warming the European Commission addresses methane emissions together with other GHG emissions through the Climate and Energy Package. Clearly, reducing methane levels from its major sources is a legitimate goal. However, there are incorrect arguments being made and it is the intention of this presentation to clarify them.

This presentation aims to show the most recent Life Cycle GHGs of natural gas and compare the differences (technical, regulatory, methodological, etc.) in the European (including Russian) gas system against the North American gas system with implications for Europe's environmental parameters.