Methane Emissions

About Methane

Methane is a naturally occurring gas in nature, formed from the decomposition of waste found deep underground. It is an extremely valuable gas used in the economic activities of many societies across the world. Overall the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimate that the gas industry is responsible for about 5% of global methane emissions and we, in Eurogas, are dedicated to getting that as close to zero as possible.

Methane Emissions in the Gas Sector

Methane emissions from natural gas occur at various stages of the natural gas value chain (extraction, processing, storage, distribution).

In Europe, the production of natural gas is limited and the vast majority of gas is imported. Extra-European value chain methane emissions are a significant challenge related to gas usage. Most of these emissions are so-called “fugitive methane emissions,” which are unintentional releases of natural gas into the atmosphere. The main reason for these leaks in pipelines are corrosion, external influences or defective pipeline components.

In our efforts to address methane emissions, Eurogas has also become a member of the Methane Guiding Principles (MGP), an organisation which coordinates and informs on methane reduction best practices in the industry with International organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations. Collaboration is important for reducing emissions, particularly considering most of the emissions associated with EU natural gas consumption are actually taking place in the extra-European parts of the value chain.

Reducing Methane Emissions

According to the EEA, fugitive methane emissions in Europe’s energy sector have decreased by 67% since 1990. Efforts to mitigate methane emissions in the energy sector include implementing leak detection and repair programs, improving infrastructure integrity, deploying advanced technologies for methane capture and utilisation, and transitioning towards renewable energy sources.

Eurogas recognises the crucial role and responsibility that the entire value chain of the gas industry has in curbing methane emissions, and supports the efforts of the European Union in mitigating them. The EU’s Methane Regulation presents a valuable opportunity to strengthen our collective efforts globally. Our members are committed to reduce methane emissions and improve data quality. We have been actively engaging our members across the value chain on methane management, and have dialogued extensively throughout the Regulation’s legislative development.