EDF is working with oil and gas companies to make the business case, improve transparency and drive innovation for curbing emissions of methane, the key component of natural gas.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, over 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide, one that scientists say is responsible for more than a quarter of the warming we are experiencing today. It also represents a fast-emerging form of carbon risk for oil and gas companies as well as investors.

The largest single industrial source of U.S. methane emissions is the vast network of infrastructure — including wells, pipelines and storage facilities — that produces, transports and distributes natural gas. That infrastructure loses methane, a sellable product, through leaks and sometimes by design.

But methane emissions are a problem we can solve –  with technologies available today, and with innovations being brought to market in the near future.

Why methane matters – for both companies and investors

Methane emissions from the oil and gas sector are increasingly viewed as a financial issue for companies, and by extension, their investors. Every pound of methane allowed to escape represents not only a loss of sellable product, but also undercuts natural gas’ climate benefits as a fuel source. A 2015 study found that the sector loses $30 billion globally each year from leaked or vented methane at oil and gas facilities.

Working towards insights and solutions

EDF is working with the oil and gas sector in three key areas: