Energy Security, Affordability and Sustainability are Part of Speedy Energy Transition – Julien Perez OGCI
By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
Following the recent events of the past few years, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia – Ukraine war, Julien Perez, Vice President, Strategy & Policy of Oil & Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) has called on energy companies, producing nations and energy consumers to balance the demands of energy security, affordability, and sustainability, noting that the global energy transition agenda has become more complex.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Energy Republic during the sideline of the LNG2023 international exhibition and conference on liquefied natural gas (LNG), Perez stated that the current challenges facing the energy industry have demonstrated the complexity of the energy transition agenda and there isn’t one single solution.
“Different countries will determine their path based on factors including economic resilience, technological availability and its associated costs, regional expertise, demand structure, local capabilities, and access to finance.
“Energy companies, producing nations, and energy consumers need to balance the demands of energy security, affordability, and sustainability with the need to transition as fast as possible to a lower carbon future,” he explained.
Speaking further, he stressed that the energy industry also requires well-designed policies and regulations to support the oil and gas industry’s investments in low-carbon technologies to reduce emissions as well as meet the Paris Agreement ambitions.
“For example, giving a value to carbon through explicit carbon pricing mechanisms is one type of policy that can help to give this clarity, which would also give the confidence needed for companies to invest in production capacity and low carbon energies such as hydrogen, biofuels, and other clean energy byproducts”.
OGCI’s new approach to addressing some of the peculiar challenges in the energy industry, according to him, includes the establishment of an industry-wide ‘Aiming for Zero Methane Initiative’ to encourage global collaboration on methane emissions mitigation, and to switch the mindset of the industry – to take a zero tolerance approach and to treat methane emissions as seriously as the industry does safety.
According to the IEA’s latest report, methane emissions from the oil and gas industry total around 2.4 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This is nearly half of the industry’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions of 5.1 Gt carbon dioxide equivalent.
However, Perez disclosed that through its ‘Aiming for Zero Methane Initiative’, it has attracted more than 90 companies, while OGCI continues to support technological development and deployment, including science, and policy advancement.
He said that some countries do not have access to the technology or the know-how on how to address methane emissions. “This is where we join forces with think tanks and NGOs to create capacity building and provide direct support to companies who are also interested in reducing their methane emissions”.
“OGCI member companies work individually and collectively to accelerate action towards a net zero emissions future. Our action is guided by a set of principles and a strategy, which is guided by three pillars. We aim to drive towards net zero operations, lead the oil and gas industry to net
zero operations and act to help decarbonize society.
“In the five years to 2021, OGCI member companies have collectively reduced absolute upstream methane emissions by 40% and reduced upstream carbon intensity by 17%. In that same period, members have invested a total of $40 billion in low-carbon investments.
“Natural gas plays an important role in meeting global energy demand. Most of the energy models aligned with the Paris Agreement forecast that natural gas will continue to be around for decades to come. We are focused on delivering that energy with the lowest possible emissions intensity and have set targets for both methane and carbon.
“Since 2017, OGCI’s member companies have collectively reduced absolute upstream methane emissions by 40% and reduced flaring by a third.
“OGCI members, alongside decarbonizing their operations, are leading the wider industry towards net zero and working with their customers, partners, other industries, and policymakers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help accelerate the transition to a net zero future.
“One important action every company can take is to join the ‘Aiming for Zero initiative’, which aims to reduce methane emissions to net zero by 2030. The initiative is growing fast – we already have around 90 supporters and signatories – and I expect it to further expand this year,” he added.