OGCI publishes guidance to help oil and gas companies reduce their methane emissions

August 1, 2023

  • OGCI guidance lays out a pathway that includes identifying emissions sources, taking a systematic approach and prioritizing the biggest abatement opportunities
  • The guidance can be used at any asset or location and incorporates best practice, new technologies and existing regulation
  • OGCI’s guidance also provides examples of globally recognized targets, standards and protocols for methane emissions to aid companies’ efforts

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) has set out guidance for oil and gas companies seeking to cut methane emissions to near zero – a vital step to achieving Paris Agreement climate goals and a key focus for the 12-member group.

The paper sets out a four-step pathway to support operators’ efforts to reduce their emissions of the gas. This includes identifying potential sources of methane emissions and taking an inventory, determining how those emissions will be mitigated, prioritizing the biggest opportunities and taking a systematic approach to abatement.

The process is designed to be implemented across a company’s business units at any asset or location, and will build on lessons learned, best practice, new technologies and existing regulation.

OGCI Executive Committee Chair Bjørn Otto Sverdrup said:

“It’s clear that reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry to near zero will be essential if we are to achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and OGCI’s guidance sets out in a clear and straightforward way how that can be achieved.

“It also recommends that companies focus on the most significant opportunities to mitigate methane emissions and embrace new technologies to deliver these reductions.”

Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative Executive Committee Chair

The guidance also provides examples of targets, standards and protocols for methane emissions to aid companies, including from OGCI, UNEP’s reporting and mitigation programme the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership 2.0, the Natural Gas Sustainability Initiative, gas certification non-profit MiQ and the World Bank.

OGCI, which is led by the CEOs of the 12 largest energy companies, has focused on reducing methane emissions from operated oil and gas assets since the group was set up in 2014.

Last year, OGCI launched Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions – an initiative designed to spur companies to reduce methane emissions from operated oil and gas to near zero by 2030 by switching the mindset to treat methane as seriously as safety and preventing oil spills.

Support for the initiative, which is open to the entire industry, has grown quickly. It now numbers around 90 companies, including private and state-run energy companies, service firms, technology providers, consultancies and other organizations.

The target of aiming for zero methane emissions by 2030 is fast becoming a standard reference point for industry, as OGCI’s 2018 methane intensity target did before it.


  • OGCI is a CEO-led organization comprising 12 of the world’s largest energy companies to lead the oil and gas industry’s response to climate change.
  • It aims to accelerate action towards a net zero emissions future consistent with the Paris Agreement.
  • OGCI member companies represent almost 30% of global oil and gas production.
  • OGCI members are Aramco, bp, Chevron, CNPC, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Occidental, Petrobras, Repsol, Shell and TotalEnergies.
  • Since 2017, OGCI’s members have collectively reduced methane emissions by 40% and cut upstream flaring by a third. 
  • OGCI members’ 40% reduction in absolute upstream methane emissions from 2017 is equivalent to taking over 3 million cars off the road for a year.
  • Read more about our decarbonization efforts in our Annual Progress Report

Image source: Dana Gas

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