Decarbonisation Technology May 2022 Issue

Downstream methane emissions The abatement of methane emissions from upstream is considered 'low hanging fruit' in that it is both cost-effective and technically feasible using currently available technologies. The GIE/Marcogas report covers methane emissions from downstream and end uses of natural gas, such as domestic heating and cooking in Europe (GIE & Marcogaz, 2019). Many countries will continue to rely on natural gas for domestic heating and cooking up to and beyond 2030. A UK study found it is feasible to convert the existing natural gas network to hydrogen (Ahn, 2017). Britain’s Hydrogen Network plan takes this further with the aim to deliver a national 100% hydrogen network (DNV & ENA, 2021). Given the economics and limited availability of green hydrogen in the short term, it will be better directed towards higher added- value applications. As such, the abatement of emissions from domestic gas consumption is likely to be reliant on the use of 'blue' hydrogen, made from steam reforming of methane in combination with carbon capture. An emerging technology that holds promise for the longer term is the pyrolysis of methane to produce 'turquoise' hydrogen and carbon in the form of char, avoiding the need for carbon (dioxide) capture. The near to mid-term warming impacts of hydrogen are higher than widely perceived. Hydrogen is present in the atmosphere in

links to MGP reports from each reporting company. In the 2022 reports, companies summarised activities completed in 2021 and stated their plans for 2022 against each of the MGPs. Examples taken from two of the reports include: • Shell reports a reduction in methane emissions from 91 kt in 2019 to 67 kt in 2020, and a methane intensity between 0.01 to 0.6% for individual facilities (Shell, 2022). • QatarEnergy’s methane emissions intensity has been stable (0.005 to 0.008%) and below the OGMP 2.0 target of 0.2% since 2015. QatarEnergy reports progress with the LDAR programme for its LNG and gas-to-liquids assets (QatarEnergy, 2021). In October 2020, OGCI, IPIECA, and IOGP launched a joint task force to develop industry recommended practices for Methane Detection and Quantification technologies for the upstream oil and gas industry. This builds on the MGP best practice guide on Identification, Detection, Measurement and Quantification (MGP, 2020). IOGP is further supporting the MGP via a new initiative, Embedding Methane Management Best Practices Across Gas Companies, together with the MGP Secretariat and the Energy Institute. This initiative will leverage MGP’s network, contacts, and tools in a global stakeholder outreach and engagement programme.

Tropospheric warming eects H + OH

H + HO

Stratospheric warming eects

Tropospheric O concentrations

Stratospheric HO concentrations When this reaction occurs in the stratosphere, the additional water vapour causes stratospheric cooling that leads to a positive radiative forcing

Less OH is available to react with CH and OH is the main sink of atmospheric CH, this increases the lifetime of CH CH concentrations

Tropospheric O formation via a chain of reactions:

H + O




NO + hv O + O + M

NO + O O + M

Figure 9 Effects of hydrogen oxidation on atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations Source: (Ocko & Hamburg, 2022)


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