Commitment to Methane Emission Reduction: Nigeria at COP28

December 12, 2023by Toluwanimi

As the current COP28 conference gains momentum, the focus on reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas sector remains a key element in combating global warming. Recognizing the potency and short-lived nature of methane, fifty prominent oil and gas companies have reiterated their commitment to reaching near-zero methane emissions by 2030. Additionally, a fund has been established to support methane abatement projects in emerging markets and developing economies.

Nigeria, as a major player in the oil and gas industry, understands the significance of addressing methane emissions. President Bola Tinubu has expressed his government’s commitment to ending gas-flaring in the country, aligning with the global push to halt methane emissions. In line with existing methane guidelines, Nigeria has signed off on reduction programs and plans to leverage new technology to achieve its methane pledge.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has taken proactive steps to prioritize this issue and contribute to the global reduction effort. Their commitment demonstrates Nigeria’s dedication to reducing methane emissions and achieving zero flare in its operations by 2030. The NNPC has supported the oil and gas decarbonization charter (OGDC) released at the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The charter urges the oil and gas sector among other things to achieve net-zero emissions for their operations by 2050. During a panel session titled ‘Accelerating the elimination of methane emissions & the decarbonization of oil & gas,’ Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, executive vice-president (EVP) of NNPC Limited, emphasized the charter’s importance for a major African national oil company.

The global energy sector was responsible for approximately 135 million tonnes of methane emissions in 2022, slightly higher than the amount in 2021. Both oil and natural gas operations accounted for around 40 Mt of emissions, with an additional nearly 5 Mt from leaks in end-use equipment. Implementing well-known measures like leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs and upgrading leaky equipment can reduce emissions in the oil and gas sector by over 75%. In Africa, Osten has been at the forefront of LDAR programs, utilizing Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) technology to effectively address methane emissions in the energy industry.

As Nigeria continues to navigate the transition toward a low-carbon future, its commitment to methane emission reduction sets a positive example for other countries and industry players to follow. By working collectively and implementing effective strategies, we can make substantial progress in combating global warming and achieving a sustainable future.