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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Dozens of oil-and-gas companies — including the big ones like BP, Shell and Total — are pledging to provide more detailed information about their methane emissions.

Why it matters: Methane is a very strong planet-warming gas and atmospheric concentrations keep rising, as new World Meteorological Organization data shows. Releases or leaks from oil-and-gas well sites, pipeline and other infrastructure are a key source.

Driving the news: The 6-year-old Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) yesterday announced its "2.0" reporting framework as well as new targets and expanded membership.

  • A summary notes that the framework now applies to the "full oil and gas value chain."
  • That means not only production sites, "but also midstream transportation and downstream processing and refining — areas with substantial emissions potential that are often left out of reporting today."
  • They also announced a new target of seeing a 45% cut in industry methane emissions by 2025 and 60% to 75% reduction by 2030.

Where it stands: The group says membership now represents 30% of worldwide oil-and-gas production — although U.S. giants ExxonMobil and Chevron are not involved, nor are most state-owned oil companies, Reuters notes.

  • OGMP is a collaboration between the UN, the European Commission and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Of note: Also via Reuters, the group "says it differs from other initiatives in that it requires members to report methane emissions at an asset level, rather than across the whole company, and in that it covers facilities in joint ventures, even if the operator of such sites has not subscribed to OGMP."

Go deeper

Jan 20, 2021 - Science

Biden will temporarily halt oil and gas leasing in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

A polar bear at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Steven Kazlowski/Barcroft Medi via Getty Images

President-elect Biden on day one will begin his attempts to close off the prospect of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with an executive order that places a temporary moratorium on all oil and natural gas leasing activities.

Driving the news: ANWR is an ecologically rich part of Alaska, whose oil resources are unknown but could be vast. Republicans and oil companies have tried to drill there for decades.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 20, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Voters favor Biden's climate policies, but few view issue as top priority

Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Axios Visuals

Several new polls help to show where the public's at on energy and climate as Biden takes office.

Why it matters: People tend to favor emissions-cutting and low-carbon energy initiatives, but it's hardly top of mind.

Biden will issue executive order to rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit

Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

President-elect Biden will issue an executive order on Wednesday to rescind permits for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline as one of his first acts on his first day in office.

Why it matters: The move is a major development in a longtime fight over a controversial pipeline that began under the Obama administration. It reverses some of President Trump's own first actions aimed at advancing the project upon taking office in 2017.