‘Methane Emissions as minimal as possible’

Source: press release, 17 November 2021

Wintershall sees the reduction of fugitive methane emissions in its own operations as an important step
Wintershall sees the reduction of fugitive methane emissions in its own operations as an important step (photo: Wintershall Dea/Nermin Usama)

At the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, 103 countries have signed the Global Methane Pledge. “We strongly welcome the fact that the topic of methane emissions is so high on the global agenda,” said Mario Mehren, CEO of Wintershall Dea, as the climate conference drew to a close. “Wintershall Dea is already working to reduce methane emissions as much as possible in the production of gas and oil – in our own projects and within our industry. We have set ourselves the goal of minimising them as much as possible.”

By 2025, Wintershall Dea aims to have its maximum methane emissions below 0.1% – which is significantly below the industry average. “We want to achieve this goal while at the same time – and this will be crucial – doing our part to guarantee a secure energy supply for industry and consumers,” Mehren added. Climate-friendly gas will be needed if the energy transition is to succeed quickly and affordably, be it for generating electricity when phasing out coal or for rapidly establishing a functioning hydrogen market.

How Wintershall Dea is committed to minimising methane emissions:

  • As part of its corporate strategy, Wintershall Dea has set itself ambitious targets that will enable the company to assist in advancing the energy transition. By 2025, the maximum limits for methane emissions below 0.1%, i.e., the amount of methane emissions in relation to the amount of natural gas produced. The company sees the reduction of fugitive methane emissions in its own operations as an important step. “For this reason, we have comprehensive ‘Leak Detection and Repair’ programmes in our business units in Germany and internationally – in Egypt, Russia, Algeria, Mexico, Argentina, the Netherlands and Norway,” Mehren continued, adding that – also according to important scientific voices – having the value chain achieve a low carbon footprint is well within reach. In addition, the routine flaring of associated gas will continue to be completely avoided and by 2030, Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions in all own-operated and non-own-operated exploration and production activities will be reduced to net zero in the amount of the own share.
  • Wintershall Dea is a founding member of the Methane Guiding Principles. Signatories to this initiative commit not only to continuously reducing methane emissions based on steadily improving reporting, but also to influencing the entire gas value chain as well as policies and regulations. “Reducing methane emissions will require know-how. We have that, and we are sharing it with others,” Mehren said. In line with the Methane Guiding Principles, the company organises so-called “master” or “executive” classes for other industry stakeholders, but also for interested parties from the political sphere, that aim to raise awareness of the issue. “These awareness-raising efforts are very important to us, especially for those countries in which insufficient attention is being paid to this issue due to supposedly more pressing day-to-day problems,” Mehren said.
  • Since 2020, Wintershall Dea has been a signatory to the new OGMP 2.0 reporting framework, an initiative of the Coalition for Climate and Clean Air led by the UN Environment Programme. On the basis of a very ambitious timetable, this partnership is taking reporting on methane emissions to a new level – away from merely “calculated values” to concretely measured values directly at the various emission sources. “We have been certified as having a credible and detailed plan to achieve the highest reporting standards for all our assets, whether self-operated or not, by 2026,” the CEO noted.