Strong action on methane will mean more EU energy security

(EurActiv, 15 Dec 2022) EU energy ministers need to be ambitious in their discussions on methane leaks on Monday (19 December), not only for the climate but also for EU energy security. Cutting down on losses could bring more than 80 billion cubic metres of gas to the EU market, writes Flavia Sollazzo.

Flavia Sollazzo is the senior director of EU Energy Transition at the Environmental Defense Fund Europe.

Russia’s war on Ukraine has sent costly shockwaves through global gas markets. It has also sped up efforts to transition to cleaner, safer, more reliable energy while setting off a scramble for new gas supplies to replace what once came from Russia. But how can that near-term need be met without undermining climate goals? 

One solution – identified by Environmental Defense Fund Europe, the International Energy Agency and others – lies in the vast resources of gas currently wasted by the oil and gas industry through flaring, leaks and other emissions.

New analysis by S&P Global estimates that by cutting these preventable losses in six key export regions, more than 80 billion cubic meters (bcm) of methane could be captured and profitably brought to market. That’s almost 60% of Europe’s pre-war annual imports from Russia.

The analysis lays out specific steps that could bring 40 bcm of new supply to market more than the total annual gas demand of France – in just two to three years, using export capacity either in place or under construction today. 

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EurActiv, 15 Dec 2022: Strong action on methane will mean more EU energy security